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Ok Goodnight - The Fox and the Bird CD (album) cover


Ok Goodnight


Progressive Metal

4.18 | 65 ratings

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5 stars Exciting female-fronted NIGHTWISH-like prog metal from a Boston-based group of Berklee College of Music grads. This is the band's third album release since 2018 (their second one, 2020's Under the Veil, was a 4-song EP)--their first with a now-stable fit for the bass position as well as some help for lead vocalist Casey Lee Williams in the form of former background-vocalist-only, Elizabeth Hull.

1. The Drought (2:57) opens the album with some eerie, brooding deep synth waves sounding like something sinister brewing in a future post-apocalyptic landscape. When the full band bursts out of the slag and molten metal, lead singer Casey Lee Williams is right there with them from the first note--kind of MARS VOLTA style--albeit with a treated voice. The stop and go, widely shifting dynamics of the song again mirror The Mars Volta quite closely. Great opener. (9.25/10)

2. The Fox and the Bird (4:40) acoustic instrumentation just sounds so odd for this band--almost EAGLES or GOO GOO DOLLS-like. Then add a breathy, ethereal, NORA JONES vocal style from Casey Lee and we're definitely finding the band branching out into new musical territory. I like it: there is much more room for instrumental nuances and song subtleties here than in the power metal stuff. (8.875/10)

3. The Raccoon (and the Myth) (4:58) again, the acoustic guitars surprise me. Again, Casey Lee is given a foundation for a much more MOSTLY AUTUMN/IONA-like Prog Folk delivery. What a gorgeous vocal performance! (What a beautiful voice!) Then to go five minutes without an electric instrument, without the djenty bass and electric guitars and machine gun drumming, it's just ' unexpected. (8.875/10)

4. The Journey (2:09) piano, synths and female vocalise provide a dreamy opening to this but then it starts to chug down the tracks with the djenty bass, guitar, and machine gun bass drum. At 1:20 everybody backs off a bit for the electric guitarist to go off on a very tasteful, mature, and creative solo. (It reminds me of early Eddie Van Halen!) (4.75/5)

5. The Snake (3:42) Could be a NIGHTWISH or SCARDUST song with its wide dynamic shifts. A great, Noa Gruhman- caliber vocal performance by Casey Lee. There is a "calm before the storm" piano interlude at the 2:30 mark that builds into a torrent of metal chaos. This is one powerful song! (9.25/10)

6. The Nightmare (3:00) another interesting instrumental opening which morphs into a kind of Latin-Arabian riff-off-- before, that is, the chugging and scratching guitar play takes over. The keyboard orchestration that offsets the djent is pretty amazing! Kudos to Martin de Lima. (9.75/10)

7. The Falcon (6:12) Pat Metheny-like acoustic guitar opening soon becomes part of the straight-forward GHOST MEDICINE-like sound palette as Casey Lee sings another one of her crystalline vocals. The constantly shifting dynamics and myriad variations on the main rhythmic theme in the middle and second half are so exciting and brilliant-- definitely lifting the song into another dimension! (9.25/10)

8. The Dream (1:50) a nice dreamy instrumental break from the torrent and chaos of some of the other threads. Nothing extraordinary, though. (4.333/5)

9. The Bear (5:05) It's not often you hear a female vocalist pull of death metal growls, but apparently Elizabeth Hull can do (and does). Now exactly what I was expecting from a guest vocalist of the female persuasion: to make a metal band's metal music heavier! Good death metal song. (8.75/10)

10. The Crocodile (5:12) Heavy and raw, then jazzy and delicate, the band and Casey Lee Williams can do it all so seemlessly, so perfectly. (9.5/10)

11. The Bird (3:07) gentle solo acoustic guitar play opens this one before Casey Lee comes in sounding even more like Nora Jones or one of the Indigo Girls than ever. What a performance! (10/10)

12. The Mountain (5:30) Knowing that Elizabeth Hull had contributed to the writing and performance of this song, I was prepared for the death metal growls that arrive at the end of the second minute. The softer musical section with the lightning fast electric guitar arpeggi lying in wait beneath the space and beneath Elizabeth's growls is amazing. The music continues to impress with all of its shifts and changes (despite the consistently wild drums beneath) until 3:48 when Casey Lee returns and the music straightens out a bit, softens, then bursts into a very cool, almost classical final 30 seconds. Wow! Great song! (9.5/10)

13. The Rain (3:17) gently feather-touched piano chords open this one before Casey Lee joins in with an extremely airy-breathy voice (more than Sarah McLachlan or Delores O'Riordan). In the third minute strings and reed instruments take over for a gorgeous 20-second finish before the sounds of gentle and hard rain fill the soundscapes. (5/5)

Total Time 51:45

One of the strongest female voices in Prog World today coming out of Casey Lee Williams is curiously met by the tremendous variety of incredibly technical metal music accompanying her--but it works; the marriage of the Beauty and the Beast! The death growls of former backup singer Elizabeth Hull brings a new element to the band's tapestry- making, playing an important role in amplifying the sometimes-menacing metal music beneath--but more, she adds an stronger metal edge to the two songs to which she contributes. The musicianship and compositional skills are through-the-roof amazing. I so look forward to everything and anything these guys do in the future!

A/five stars; a veritable masterpiece of progressive rock music coming from a metal foundation but covering/bleeding into many other subgenres. Definitely a must for any and all prog lovers!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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