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Hibernal - The Dark Of The City CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.79 | 67 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Mark and Rowan are back, and again the story revolves around just two characters, both played by actors who have previously been involved with Hibernal. Scott Gentle took the lead in 'Replacements', while Faleena Hopkins took a minor role in both 'Replacements' and 'After The Winter', but here things have been changed as Faleena is very much the lead. This changes the dynamic, as the script is always in the first person, so the switch to female was surprising and caught me off guard. As with the previous album there appears to be more music, which is many places is quite dramatic, and whereas I normally "see" Mark's stories in full colour, this feels far more black and white, as if it is a classic Hitchcock. Or at least if Hitchcock was directing films that would normally be called science fiction. In terms of timelines of the Hibernal world, this has more in common with 'Replacements', but more of a parallel universe to that one as opposed to the same vision.

There is an almost hypnotic state to the music, as it takes control of the senses and drags the listener into a new world, one where Moreeno the cop is undertaking a relentless search for the creature that killed her partner. By chance she comes across her new partner during the evening, and together they finish what had started a few weeks before. I still find it incredible that in so few words Mark can create a picture of Carson City ? I feel I understand both it and its underbelly, and can envisage what the characters are seeing when the final act is played out.

The post rock riffing combines with Pink Floyd stylings to create a musical soundscape that is at times at the forefront of what is happening, creating the dramatic when there are no words, and at others falling into the background so that the actors are centre stage. This isn't a concept album, nor it is a spoken book, but something that is different from both and instead is a musical radio play for the ears.

This is Mark's fourth full album (the previous three are also available in music only forms), and the fourth to which I feel I need to recommend at the very highest level. Go to his page on Bandcamp, pick any of these at random, then sit back and enjoy the experience. I can promise that you won't be disappointed.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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