TRIVIUM Front-man’s IBARAKI Project Releases New Song Featuring MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE’s Singer GERARD WAY

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TRIVIUM singer and guitarist Matthew Heafy has shared another song from “Rashomon”, the long-awaited album from his IBARAKI project. Watch the video for the song “Rōnin”, which features MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE singer Gerard Way and EMPEROR front-man Ihsahn, below.

“‘A rōnin is a masterless warrior,” states Heafy. “The final two full compositions on ‘Rashomon’ see a significant shift musically. The album as a whole — with the exception of the intro and outro — is actually presented in chronological order of earliest written to latter-most. The actual guitar and bass tracks are a time-capsule of sorts in that their parts — on the final album — is actually from the year they were tracked.”

He continues: “One can begin to see the shifts as the years went on for the writing of the album. ‘Kagutsuchi’/‘Ibaraki-Doji’ being written and tracked in 2010/2011, all the way up to ‘Rōnin’/‘Susanoo No Mikot’ being written and tracked in 2016/2017.”

As for his collaboration with Way, Heafy says: Gerard Way has been a longtime inspiration for me — like Ihsahn and Nergal — I have looked to Gerard as a constant source of motivation to be creative. While Gerard and I may be from different genres than where IBARAKI and black metal stem from — outsiders of sorts — the spirit and intent of our performances is what unites our passion for pushing boundaries.

“‘Akumu’ translates to ‘nightmare’ — and with this piece, I encourage the listener to work to find their interpretations of what they feel from the lyrics, music, and the haunting visuals of the music video,” says Kiichi. “I have always been fascinated by Sagazan’s ‘Transfiguration,’ and for years, I have wanted to pay homage to his works with a performance art piece; to finally be able to immerse myself in his style was an intense experience.”

He finishes, “Having Nergal guest in this Ihsahn co-written piece allowed me to combine many of my long-time influences; and when I presented with Nergal of the challenge of translating my lyrics into Polish, it brought the song to another level.”

Fans will be able to listen to “Akumu” and “Tamashii No Houkai” by pre-saving here. Pre-order the album “Rashomon” on CD, vinyl, cassette, and T-Shirt + CD bundle here.

“Rashomon” Track-Listing: 

  1. Hakanaki Hitsuzen
  2. Kagutsuchi
  3. Ibaraki-Dōji
  4. Jigoku Dayū
  5. Tamashii No Houkai
  6. Akumu (Feat. Nergal)
  7. Komorebi
  8. Rōnin (Feat. Gerard Way)
  9. Susanoo No Mikoto (Feat. Ihsahn)
  10. Kaizoku

IBARAKI — the name for a terrifying Japanese demon taken from feudal legend — is the end-result of Heafy‘s continued journey to find his voice. It’s personal, it’s deep, and its inspirations include everything from an adoration for the extremes of black metal and beyond.

It was Heafy‘s exposure to Ihsahn‘s solo work that would inspire the gradual craftsmanship that would eventually become IBARAKI. It was also the beginning of a friendship and creative collaboration that would eventually compel Ihsahn to take a leap of his own into a newfound role as producer on the project. While much of the material for IBARAKI was assembled over months and years — as much a songwriting process as an exchange of ideas between friends — it wasn’t until the pandemic that the space was created and the idea could really flourish.

While material was primarily written by Kiichi, Ihsahn engineered and produced and contributed some song structures, plus Trivium drummer Alex Bent and bassist Paolo Gregoletto and guitarist Corey Beaulieu contributed to various tracks. Ihsahn‘s wife Heidi even sampled some natural sounds from the forest near their home and his entire family. Additional guests include the aforementioned Way and Behemoth‘s Nergal.

Ihsahn also encouraged Kiichi to seek out new avenues for lyrical inspiration, namely his Japanese heritage. While an array of stories have been told via the tattoos on his body, such as the specific ancient Japanese story of gods, goddesses, and monsters from the Shinto religion taught to him by his mother, he began pouring the stories into lyrics. 

While the rich mythology and folklore of Japan that would give IBARAKI its unique aesthetics and influences, it also provides the artist with the catalyst to contemplate his own identity and to consider how recent tragedies stateside have highlighted the need for better representation in metal.

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