Band Website: www.facebook.com/hibernalband
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2014
This is the second studio offering from Brisbane, Australia based Hibernal which is essentially the work of multi-instrumentalist Mark Healy who not only performs on all the instruments but is also the project’s mastermind and composer. He does have the assistance of a few dedicated souls; Rowan Salt (bass) and various voices are provided by Scott Gentle, Faleena Hopkins, Steve Van Beckum and Chip Wood. Much like his first offer, The Machine this is a moody and atmospheric musical project that features some great instrumental music wrapped up with some intriguing story narration.
Replacements is a fine follow-up to Hibernal’s first releaseThe Machine and in some ways it picks up where the other one left off. The story presented here is all about the use of androids or as they’re called synthetics and that is dropped into a kind of mystery-who-done-it. As before the vocal parts are narrated as a kind of radio play and the feeling is reminiscent of movies like Bladerunner. The vocal passages set up each composition and every-so-often will return in mid-track. The music as before is reminiscent of Pink Floyd meets Camel meets RPWL etc. It’s designed to carry the mood of the narration without being subservient to it. Nothing screams out at you, nothing seems out of place instead everything is moody and almost melancholy. There are plenty of subtle musical change-ups as each tune weaves along. It’s a full sixty-five minutes spread over twelve tracks and it never gets boring. New riffs, new sounds, new voices appear at just the right times to maintain the momentum and the interest. Once you start listening to the story it’s hard to stop, you want to go through to the end to see what happens.
There’s no sophomore slump here, Hibernal has come back with a great second release. Replacements is every bit as good as The Machine, perhaps even a little better as the compositions are just a little more refined. The one thing that is the same is the insidious nature of these tunes to get into your brain and live there. Great music…great story…what more do you need…I urge you to check’em out.