The Trivium frontman’s long-awaited black metal project features creative cohort Ihsahn of Emperor.
The first reveal of Matthew Kiichi Heafy’s venture into black metal has now finally arrived. The first offering from the Ibaraki project showcases cinematic breadth and intricate intensity in a sweeping six-minute epic.
“Tamashii No Houkai” underscores the creative kinship between Heafy and genre innovator, Ihsahn of the black metal pillar of Emperor. He is credited as the track’s co-writer and is also featured on the emphatic debut.
Heafy detailed the importance of working with such a influential figure on the project. “‘Tamashii No Houkai’ is co-written by Ihsahn — the legend behind Emperor and a musician who has been a longtime influence and mentor to so much that I do in music. The writing of this song was the turning point for Ibaraki — it summarized everything from the past, present, and future of what I thought black metal was, is, and could be.”
Connecting with his linage and Japanese roots, Heafy spoke of the meaning of the song and how that aligns with his creative vision and cultural nexus. “‘Tamashii No Houkai’ means ‘the breaking of the soul’ or ‘soul collapse,” shares Heafy. “It’s a Japanese term that didn’t exist before, but one we forged to reflect the song’s meaning.”
Even the project’s title in Ibaraki borrows from cultural lore. The name references a Japanese demon that remains prominent in feudal legend. Adopting the name bridges an ominous aesthetic while remaining rooted with Heafy’s rich heritage.
As for first offering from the venture, Heafy explains that introduction is emphatic presentation of what fans can expect moving forward, “‘Tamashii No Houkai’ is the perfect summary and representation of everything that Ibaraki is… and will be.”
Watch the visual for “Tamashii No Houkai” from Matthew Kiichi Heafy featuring Ihsahn of Emperor below.