Matt Heafy + Ihsahn’s Black Metal Album is Finished; Band Changes Name


Trivium frontman Matt Heafy has been teasing his black metal project with Ihsahn of Emperor for as long as I can remember. The first article we logged on it came all the way back in 2013, and Heafy himself says he’s been working on it for 11 years. Yeesh! Might we get to hear this thing soon?

Speaking to Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta on The Jasta Show recently, Heafy has revealed that yes, we will! The album is finished, he says, thanks to the downtime provided by the pandemic. And not only that, but he’s changed its name from the long-teased Mrityu to Ibaraki, explaining that the lyrics are steeped in Japanese folklore — and sung in Japanese! — a nod to his heritage.

Heafy details:

“During this [pandemic] I was able to finally finish my black metal record with Ihsahn from Emperor. He’s been producing and co-writing that with me for about 11 years, and it finally comes out in the middle of next year, which should be fun.

“It used to be called Mrityu, which I got from Ashtanga yoga, it means the concept of life and death, same thing as the ouroboros, same thing as the Japanese Enso, the idea that life and death are always symbiotic with each other.

“And I didn’t really know what to write about lyrically, and I was talking to Ihsahn – because I’ve always loved Scandinavian mythology, Norse mythology, and Swedish mythology, I wish I could write about Thor and Jörmungandr, I love these stories.

“He’s like, ‘Yeah, but Matt, those have been done a lot, and you have your own rich history to tap into with your Japanese side…’ And then a light bulb went off, I was like. ‘I need to just write about that.’

“Just like I said, I wanted to write about Thor and Jormungandr, the storm god fighting the world serpent…

“‘Oh, I just happen to have that tattooed on my back,’ the Japanese version, Susasnoo fighting Yamata no Orochi is the same Japanese story essentially of Jormungandr and Thor.

“And so I started writing all the lyrics about Japanese stories because that’s something that hasn’t really happened, there isn’t really a band that writes about Japanese folklore or the Shinto gods and goddesses and fictitious stories of Japanese history.

“So I changed the band name to Ibaraki, which is actually Trivium’s mascot – an easter egg in there, and the entire project is Japanese-themed.

“The art, the lyrics, I’m actually singing in Japanese, Ishahn’s on the record, Nergal’s on the record.”

I, for one, am quite eager to hear this album. I’ve loved Ihsahn’s work as a solo artist, and I’m very curious to hear how that meshes with Heafy’s own artistic sensibilities.

There’s no timeline for Ibaraki’s debut release yet, but rest assured you’ll know about it shortly after we do.

[via Ultimate Guitar]

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