Of their sophomore album, Felte writes:
The music of Brooklyn duo ERAAS creates an entirely self-contained world – an illusory, mysterious, at times supernatural realm that conjures a sense of suspense while being seductive. From the brief dialogue that precedes the pummeling beats of opener "Looking Glass" to the closing hiss and crackle of the title track, Initiation represents a coming of age for the band. For anyone who’s heard their 2012 self-titled debut album, Initiation is the culmination of the different themes explored there, honed, refined, pushed further and fashioned into its own unique world; a weird and alluring junction of ghostly atmospheres, punishing percussion, spectral vocals, phonography and sound design, all interwoven into a captivating atmosphere that is distinctively ERAAS' own.
With Initiation, the band seem to be looking for a sign of hope within the emptiness that surrounds them, trying to make amends with those in their lives, but not quite sure how to. A struggle we can all identify with. The songs on Initiation flow one after the other, creating an entirely immersive experience, playing out similar to a short film full of unexpected twists and turns. Listening to this record feels like a journey of sorts — faceless intruders, dreams of non-existent lovers, ghosts in the doorway, immortality, betrayal, and revenge –– trying to make sense of it all.
"Old Magic" is underpinned by a clattering beat, and fractured vocals echo through the mixes, bewitching and eerie. The steady, plodding bass of "The Dream" pushes the listener through deserted courtyards and winding hallways where yearning vocals and interlocking rhythms are almost palpable. The static, atmospheric interludes within the songs draw upon found-sound and sampling, contextualizing the album further as it plays out. These spaces create the transitions, often very visual - that allow the characters, and the listener, to come up for air, to make sense of it all.
There's a distinct industrial grind to the sound of "Looking Glass" and the insistent rhythms of "Above", which plays out like a chase-scene through an empty city in the middle of the night in some out of date film's depiction of the future. The repetitive gait of penultimate track "Splitting" churns with forbidding indifference as its descending synths set the stage for a soliloquy, seemingly about a broken friendship, flipping itself over into the orchestral throes and spoken word that ushers in the album closer – a cogent and trancelike consummation of the journey that precedes it.
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