IKITAN is the god of the sound of stones. That’s directly from IKITAN the band, a trio from Genoa, Italy that formed in October of 2019.
Together, the three-piece writes an earth-shattering blend of Hard Prog Rock, mixing equal parts of My Sleeping Karma, Karma to Burn, and Russian Circles into something that seems to transcend the world around us.
As part of their Prog identity, the band relies heavily on higher concepts to drive their music forward. Nowhere is that more evident than in their debut epic, “Twenty-Twenty”—a 20-minute song released on November 20, 2020 and split into three chapters meant to capture the beginning of the band’s existence before and during the 2020 pandemic.
For their debut single, IKITAN is:
Luca Nash Nasciuti: Guitar and Effects
Frik Et: Bass and Effects
Enrico Meloni: Drums and Cowbell
The guitar and bass for “Twenty-Twenty” were recorded by Luca Nash Nasciuti, who also mixed the album. Drums were recorded at Greenfog Studio, owned by Mattia Cominotto.
The trio prides itself on staying loose as songwriters, and that much is obvious in their song’s composition. Every riff in “Twenty-Twenty” (and there are many in this 20-minute epic) was at one point improvised during a band jam session. Now, in the song’s finished version, each riff is carefully placed and recorded to perfection.
Since “Twenty-Twenty” is a single song, it’s tricky to give a thorough review. Although the band says “Twenty-Twenty” is split into three chapters, we’ve identified four distinct sections that we’ll use to help us through the review.
Part 1: 00:00-5:16
“Twenty-Twenty” opens with an electronic pulse, bringing the song to life with shimmering guitars that quickly soar into the sky above. The lead guitar wanders and explores as the drums awake, accompanying the bass into a beautiful soundscape. Here, as throughout the rest of the song, IKITAN pulls inspiration from bands like Chicago’s Russian Circles and Germany’s My Sleeping Karma.
Part 2: 5:17-11:31
Part 2 begins with rolling bass and drums, as if the band is marching into battle. As before, the guitars soar, but the notes are more determined this time, and there’s extra tension in the narrative. If 2020 is the background for this track, Part 2 could be when COVID-19 broke out of Wuhan and swept through Italy and the rest of the world. Part 2 is much heavier than Part 1, and the songwriting here is tighter.
Part 3: 11:32-15:42
The opening notes in the third section may be a nod to Dream Theater’s “Endless Sacrifice.” This section is heavy on bass, with its dark, mysterious notes meandering through the void. Part 3 begins slowly, but it eventually picks up and becomes much more complicated. Within a few minutes, Nasciuti’s thick, chunky riffs are absolutely Metal.
Part 4: 15:43-20:20
Parts 3 and 4 connect through a complicated swirl of notes. Eventually, Part 4 breaks through in a new clarity. This section opens peacefully, but it gradually builds into something much heavier. By 19:30, the song hits its heaviest section yet: the band grabs onto a riff fragment and repeats it over and over, as if the song was skipping on its heaviest line. This snapshot carries us through to the very end, when the instruments die off into silence.
Pros: “Twenty-Twenty” runs for 20 minutes and 20 seconds, and every single second of this conceptual song is important. While this is a long song by any standards, at no point does IKITAN descend into self-indulgence. This is a fantastic track to follow note by note or to leave in the background all day. Whether you call it a song, an EP, or an album, “Twenty-Twenty” is worth a listen.
Cons: What’s not to like here? We could be pedantic and ask for IKITAN to split the multi-sectional song into individual tracks, but that doesn’t necessarily give us a better Prog Rock experience. “Twenty-Twenty” is well-done through and through.