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Hibernal: After The Winter

Another interesting project I have stumbled across is Hibernal, the brainchild of Australian multi-instrumentalist Mark Healy.

Their first album The Machine came out in 2013 and there has been a release every year since culminating with After The Winter, featured in this review.

Hibernal went unnoticed by me until now for reasons unknown. There is just so much music out there it is impossible to keep up with it all. That said, I am glad to have been acquainted with After The Winter as the music is excellent. On the album Healy plays everything himself except for bass, supplied by Rowan Salt and the voices of Brad Everett and Faleena Hopkins. What makes this album unique is the lack of singing. Instead, Healy spins his yarn through the talking of voice actors. As you might have guessed there is a concept here and a cool one at that. Imagine an apocalyptic future for the world. As a means of riding out the storm, the main character Brant decides to download his thoughts and memories to a synthetic body with the idea of eventually returning to human form after the danger has passed. The story takes on a major twist as the events do not play out as our protagonist intended.

The concept begins with the moody title track. Chiming guitar chords slowly build overtop a heartbeat bassline eventually leading to a soaring guitar solo set amongst an atmospheric post rock soundscape. It is here the voice of Brad Everett as Brandt introduces the main concept. For those of you who find following the lyrics in songs to difficult a task, the spoken word passages are almost a welcome relief and something completely different. "The Time Has Come" has a hint of Pink Floyd, particularly in the chord progressions whereas "Worn" has a moody post rock vibe and edgy atmospherics. "The Silent Earth" is slow moving and a little more melancholic with the guitar work exuding a chiming sadness until the heavier riffs add a more metallic edge. Healy's magical guitar lines weave a sorrowful soundscape of sound through the song's eight minutes. More excellent guitar can be found in "Pathways" and in the slightly more optimistic "Beginnings", with the latter featuring a deep bass groove and shimmering guitar exploits.

If you like your music in the melancholic side of the progressive spectrum and can appreciate a strong conceptual storyline, I think After The Winter would be well worth your effort and is an album I highly recommend.

Track Listing:
1. After The Winter
2. Homecoming
3. The Time Has Come
4. All That's Been Lost
5. Worn
6. A View Of The World
7. Displacement Part I
8. Displacement Part II
9. The Silent Earth
10. Pathways
11. Beginnings

Added: July 19th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Bandcamp Page
Hits: 1629
Language: english

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