Hibernal is Mark Healy's musical alter ego in which he composes, executes, creates... everything himself! "The Machine" is the title of his first release with a cover that tells a lot of the story that is about to unveil when you press play.
I would call this an "art project" with the wider sense rather than a music album. The reason is that here the music plays a secondary role and supports the intriguing story behind "The Machine". The narrative is very interesting and consists of a professional voice talent cast (!) that delivers in a splendid manner what (I think) Mark had in mind: a modern-day drama about our ambitions, choices in life, decisions, compromises and results of our actions... I felt this really represents modern dilemmas of our generation and cannot but grasp your attention. But I will not tell more about the story; rather I will let you discover it yourself.
Musically, we are dealing mostly with instrumental melodic post-rock, boosted by heavy prog riffs from time to time, in the vein of Porcupine Tree (see 'Losing Touch'). Acoustic guitars also play a big role with carefully laid out melodies ('Home', 'Disconnection') and several 'Floydian' keyboard passages provide the right atmosphere for the project to unfold. The closing track is the epitome of the post-rock mood in which this album flows. The majority of the compositions are quite simple (even simplistic at times) but connect very well to each other. The production and sound of the drums are somewhat weak points but this can be expected from an independent release and does not spoil the result. In all honesty, the first listen was more intriguing than the subsequent ones, not implying it gets boring afterwards. In some ways the album reminded me of ''Cerulean Blue'' by the British band RAIN. The only downside (is it really) for Mark might be that the concept turns out to be "deeper" than the accompanying music.
I would definitely recommend that you listen to "The Machine", even if it is for once, and I hope that Mark - if he has not yet done this - turns this into a short-movie.