Trivium frontman Matthew Kiichi Heafy has announced Rashomon, the debut album from his black metal solo project Ibaraki. The Ihsahn-produced LP arrives May 6th via Nuclear Blast.
Ahead of the release date, Heafy shared the second single from the project, “Akumu,” which features guest vocals by Behemoth’s Nergal. It was co-written by Heafy and Ihsahn, with Nergal translating the lyrics into his native Polish.
“‘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,” Heafy remarked in a press release. “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.”
“Akumu” and the previously released debut single “Tamashii No Houkai” see Heafy comfortably exploring the black-metal style while adding some Trivium-esque melodic flourishes. It certainly helps to have genre luminaries such as Nergal and Ihsahn — who produced and engineered Rashomon — along for the ride.
Added Heafy: “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.”
The material for Rashomon was primarily written by Heafy, with Ihsahn contributing some song structures. Heafy’s bandmates in Trivium (drummer Alex Bent, bassist Paolo Gregoletto, and guitarist Corey Beaulieu) also contributed to various tracks. Perhaps the most surprising guest addition on LP is by My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way (“Rōnin”).
You can pre-order Ibaraki’s debut album on vinyl, CD, and cassette via the band’s merch store and digitally here.
Watch the music video for “Akumu” and see the LP’s artwork and tracklist below.
01. Hakanaki Hitsuzen
04. Jigoku Dayū
05. Tamashii No Houkai
06. Akumu (Feat. Nergal)
08. Rōnin (Feat. Gerard Way)
09. Susanoo No Mikoto (Feat. Ihsahn)