Every so often someone sends us a link to their bandcamp site and asks us for a review. Once at their site, we are often greeted with some strange indie/grunge/alternative/pop/folk music that simply doesn’t relate at all to progressive rock. Then the exception to the rule (Rule: Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks self-promotion) contacts us and what they present is a completely original concept. Hibernal is a delightful exception to the rule.
Using a only small cast of spoken word artists, and playing, recording, and mixing down every track himself, Mark Healy could have bitten off more than he could chew. But he apparently chews well enough to have swallowed all the responsibility and out of the other end of his project dropped a precious gem. Usually when an artist swallows all the creativity including the playing of every musical instrument what pops out of the other end is mostly crap. It sure was a pleasure to discover Hibernal was up to the challenge.
I did get a little restless over the drum tracks… sometimes they sounded too mechanical and precise; in other words- programmed not played. But other than that little quibble, I really enjoyed this album and have nothing critical to say about The Machine. In fact, the music flies by so quickly I had to check to make sure it wasn’t an EP. There are 11 tracks of various length and the total tracking time is nearly 60 minutes yet it felt like only 20 minutes. As I write this I am on my 3rd complete spin and enjoying it as much as the first listen.
I do have a favorite track and you can bet this track will get featured on next week’s radio show. Disconnection is the ninth track on the album. The song carries the emotion of the character perfectly. The style of the music flows in a style similar to Porcupine Tree and a less heavy version of Tool; two of Mr. Healy’s acknowledged influences.
The album is available at Hibernal’s bandcamp site and I was able to download it for FREE. I always love a bargain, especially when the music is worth paying for. I’m not sure how long that bargain is going to last. Perhaps you should drop a few dollars in the tin so Hibernal can record another album. Or write a review like I did. Either way, download this album and let the story carry you away into The Machine!
Rowan Michaels – Narrator
Samantha Béart – Jane
Robert Blythe – Mr Wilkins
Mixed by Mark Healy
Mastered by Rowan Salt