TRIVIUM frontman Matt Heafy has released the first single from his long-awaited IBARAKI project (formerly MRITYU).
The official music video for “Tamashii No Houkai”, featuring special guest Ihsahn of EMPEROR, can be seen below.
“‘Tamashii No Houkai’ means ‘the breaking of the soul’ or ‘soul collapse,” explains Heafy. “It’s a Japanese term that didn’t exist before, but one we forged to reflect the song’s meaning.”
Heafy, who is of Japanese heritage, continues: “‘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.”
Heafy adds: “‘Tamashii No Houkai’ is the perfect summary and representation of everything that IBARAKI is… and will be.”
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.