Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, February 24, 2014


Last year when I first heard Hibernal I was stunned by the music coming out of my speakers. Sci fi inspired post rock with a spoken word twist. This might not seem like the kind of thing a lot of people could connect too, yet the story it told was incredibly human. Well now the projects mastermind Mark Healy is back with another beautiful record that tells a magnificent and engaging story over a writhing swathe of post rock and progressive madness. This may not seem to be the kind of record that would appeal to the masses, but their is an incredible all consuming power here that can not be questioned.

Since the previous record The Machine Healy has progressed in many ways. First off, the songwriting has vastly improved, their is a lot to dig into here. I think that Healy could actually succeed as an instrumental artist, and if his stories weren't so darn good, I'd encourage him to go down that path. As is, the instrumental version of the record is an emotional roller coaster, definitely the kind of thing I could listen too for days on end. Yet as a storyteller Healy has managed to take an already incredible and beautiful record and craft it into something even more impressive. While I don't want to get into detail about the story of Replacements I will say this much. The ideas behind it freak me out, they communicate messages about the human condition that can only really be explored in sci fi, so while Healy could just make instrumental music, he could also just be a novelist.

So where does that leave Replacements? Simply put, this is a combination of two fine arts that while great on their own, join up to transcend both. Greater than the sum of its parts, Healy has outdone himself this time, creating a touching tale that is simply begging for a sequel. Meanwhile the musical ideas keep the listener engaged and guessing. There is a lot going on here, far too much to be encompassed in one listen, and I for one know that I will be spinning this record for months to come. Hibernal is the product of a genius and I can not wait to see what happens next with it!

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