Ikkadian - _Of Alpha and Omega_
(Independent, 2012)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (7 out of 10)
Being the ever so resourceful lot that we are, we present to you today the debut album _Of Alpha and Omega_ from Ikkadian. This is a DIY type of band with self-financed recording, production, CD printing and direct handling of all other non-musical matters that bands have to do to get themselves an audience in the 21st century. After a careful first glance, I didn't notice anything special about this album except its pretty cool artwork. It includes ten tracks of very honest and organic death metal that clearly show Ikkadian's grip as a band on death metal. _Of Alpha and Omega_ will throw countless blasts, trills and very thickly distorted riffs at you over its forty-nine minute duration, but that wasn't the strongest highlight for me. Of course I enjoy a tight and vicious metal assault as much as the next guy in a black shirt with an involuntary metal horns twitch, but this album is really all about the lyrics. The artwork is also noteworthy and I think it does a lot to complement the album's story.

This brings me to the lyrics. _Of Alpha and Omega_ is a tale of frustration and disdain caused by the monotheistic Abrahamic religions. The lyrics present various dialogues and situations in the story of questioning and inquiry that are always complemented by equally aggressive music. "Archangel" and the opening cut "Adversary" have some awesome riffing while "Lambs Before Lions" carries the album's finest guitar solo. Conceptually though, I think that the album's progression was quite masterfully laid out. "The Divine Will" tackles the view of god in the context of the aforementioned religions while "Sophia", the word that originally means wisdom, tells the tale of someone looking for a religion who can't find any. The lyrics are like a conversation and the guitar solo on that one really matches the anguish in the conversation. "Relentless March Towards Apocalypse" talks about how religious wars are fucking up the world and everyone thinks he's right. This is of course not a new topic in metal (go back to "Holy Wars" from Megadeth's _Rust in Peace_) but it fits in a perfect place in the narrative.

On a personal level, I usually tend to look at the music first, which is why I wasn't initially taken by _Of Alpha and Omega_. I found its musicianship treading the unsurprisingly familiar plains of brutal death metal. But since the band intentionally sent the lyrics with the album, I thought there had to be a point to that, and I found the album's glowing centre that pulses with energy. This is a conceptual album that demands reading while listening. Not everyone can fully absorb that in these times of epidemic attention deficit disorder.

Contact: https://www.facebook.com/Ikkadian

(article published 12/29/2012)


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