Matt Heafy recruits Emperor's Ihsahn for first single from long-awaited black-metal project Ibaraki

Matt Heafy (left), Ihsahn
(Image credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns, Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

Trivium electric guitar ace Matt Heafy has unveiled Tamashii No Houkai, the first single from his long-awaited Ibaraki project.

Topped off with a blistering solo from Emperor guitarist Ihsahn – who, according to a press release from the Heafy camp, has also taken on a role as Ibaraki's producer – the song is a relentless, mutli-faceted black metal epic that shows Heafy wholeheartedly embracing a new musical direction.

You can check the song – and its beautifully-shot, black-and-white music video – out below.

"Tamashii No Houkai means 'the breaking of the soul' or 'soul collapse,'" Heafy explained in a press release. "It's a Japanese term that didn't exist before, but one we forged to reflect the song's meaning."

"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," he continued. "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."

"Tamashii No Houkai is the perfect summary and representation of everything that Ibaraki is, and will be," Heafy concluded.

If we were betting on it, we'd say that Tamashii No Houkai is probably the lead single of an as-yet-unannounced Ibaraki album, but as of press time no further details on such an album – name, release date or cover – have been made public.

Keep your eyes on Ibaraki's website though, for more info and updates on the project.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.