Trivium frontman Matthew Kiichi Heafy has unveiled the new song “Rōnin” from his solo black metal project Ibaraki, and it features guest vocals from My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way.
It’s the third single from Ibaraki’s debut album Rashomon, arriving May 6th. Produced by Ihsahn, the album and song see Heafy melding a black metal sound with the melodic sensibilities of his past metal output.
“Rōnin” exemplifies the double-edged blade of melody and harshness that has defined the Ibaraki singles so far. Interestingly, it’s Heafy providing the clean vocals, while Way delivers the screams.
“‘A rōnin is a masterless warrior,” said Heafy via a press release. “The final two full compositions on Rashōmon see a significant shift musically. The album as a whole — with the exception of the intro and outro — is actually presented in chronological order of earliest written to latter-most. The actual guitar and bass tracks are a time-capsule of sorts in that their parts — on the final album — is actually from the year they were tracked.”
Heafy elaborates, sharing that the tracks “Kagutsuchi” and “Ibaraki-doji” were written and tracked in 2010 and 2011, while “Rōnin” and “Susanoo No Mikoto” being written and tracked in 2016/2017. Therefore, there is a linear timeline to the album’s tracklist.
As for his collaboration with Way, Heafy acknowledged that he and the MCR frontman might be “outsiders” to black metal, but he puts the singer alongside Ihsahn and fellow Ibaraki collaborator Nergal as creative inspirations.
“Gerard Way has been a long-time inspiration for me — like Ihsahn and Nergal — I have looked to Gerard as a constant source of motivation to be creative,” Heafy said. “While Gerard and I may be from different genres than where Ibaraki and black metal stem from — outsiders of sorts — the spirit and intent of our performances is what unites our passion for pushing boundaries.”
Meanwhile, both Heafy and Way will be out on the road this year. Trivium are supporting Megadeth and Lamb of God on the next leg of their “Metal Tour of the Year,” which kicks off April 9th, with tickets available here. And My Chemical Romance will finally embark on their highly anticipated reunion tour, which launches in May with a European outing before hitting the States in the summer. Tickets to MCR’s upcoming shows are available via Ticketmaster.
Pre-order Rashomon via Amazon. Below you can stream the video for “Rōnin.”