Ibaraki is a black metal side project that Heafy has been working on for over a decade now. But labeling the work as “black metal” also misses the greater points of the Ibaraki album Rashomon; for while the material very much honors that of conventional black metal music, Matt Heafy has also gone beyond those conventions. Rashomon is a work that rips and tears with instrumental and vocal ferocity, while also washing over the listener at times with melancholy.
Rashomon is nothing short of a stunning work of extreme metal that builds and expands upon the black metal genre.
The debut Ibaraki album from Matt Heafy is out today, along with a brand new music video. Matt Heafy has released the music video for the song “Kagutsuchi,” which you can watch below.
Kagutsuchi by Trivium singer Matt Heafy
Absolutely incredible work. We are loving Heafy’s new record and consider it a strong contender for album of the year. If you have heard the record already, what are your thoughts on it?
If you haven’t listened to Ibaraki’s Rashomon yet, you absolutely should check it out!
We had the opportunity to talk with that of Trivium singer Matt Heafy somewhat recently and had a wonderful conversation. Below you will find a snippet of our interview with Heafy, but to read the full interview, click on the link below.
The Pit: Can you speak to your decision to explore Japanese folklore and religion through the lens of black metal?
Matt Heafy: What’s interesting is, there was another divergent point. We had most of the songs written, and I said to Ihsahn at a point, “I wish I was Scandinavian.” He asked why is that, and I said, “I’d love to be able to write about Thor battling Jörmungandr during Ragnarök.”
Ihsahn said, “That has been done,” and [he also encouraged me to explore my own heritage]. It blew my mind, I was like you’re right. I have the Japanese storm god on my back battling a dragon – it’s essentially the same story as Jörmungandr, but the Japanese version. I’ve had all these Japanese stories on me and in me that I’ve always known and wanted to learn more about. So when he said that, I went from having no lyrics essentially in 8-10 years, to all of a sudden having all the lyrics written within 3-5 days. I tapped into writing about actual gods and monsters from the Shinto religion, from Japanese folklore, to making my own stories that exist in the Japanese world.
Words by: Michael Pementel