Hibernal is Mark Healy's project. The Australian multi-instrumentalist and songwriter did everything himself for this album. Only the mastering and the three narrative voices were allowed to contribute others. Narrator's voices? The album is based on Healy's short story "Welcome To The Machine" from 2002: A man climbs the career ladder in a powerful company and has to realize that with every step up he has to sacrifice a part of himself. This story is staged with three speakers and instrumental music. The basic mood is melancholic to sad and mostly dominated by plucked reverb and echo guitars. But there are also driving drums, creaking basses and discreetly used synthetic carpets ("Losing Touch"). Some sound tinkering (like of course the title) reminds of Pink Floyd ("No Return"). And with the opener "This High", reminiscent of The Cult, Healy shows that he also recorded dark wave influences. The story and how it is implemented is not bad from the point of view of the approach. But the album lacks dynamics and the songs lack both sophisticated sounds and harmonic richness.
Top track: This High