Matt Heafy, lead guitarist and vocalist of Floridian metalcore band, Trivium, is gearing up to release a black metal album under the name Ibaraki. Ibaraki is the name of a prefecture in the Kantō region of Japan, the country of Heafy’s birth.
The project’s latest single, ‘Rōnin’, features guest vocals from My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way. ‘Rōnin’ was apparently written and tracked in 2016-17, making it one of the more recent compositions to appear on Ibaraki’s upcoming debut album, Rashomon.
Although Heafy has declared Ibaraki a black metal project, he acknowledges that he and Way are relative outsiders to the metal sub-genre. “Gerard Way has been a long-time inspiration for me,” Heafy said in a statement. “I have looked to Gerard as a constant source of motivation to be creative. The spirit and intent of our performances is what unites our passion for pushing boundaries.”
Heafy launched Ibaraki in January, 2021. The project’s debut single, ‘Tamashii No Houkai’, was co-written by Ihsahn of Norweigian black metal pioneers, Emperor. Heafy has described Ihsahn as a “longtime influence and mentor to so much that I do in music.”
Ibaraki’s second single, ‘Akumu’, featured Nergal of Polish extreme metal band Behemoth. Ihsahn produced Rashomon, which is expected on Friday, 6th May. Watch the ‘Rōnin’ music video below.