OK Goodnight released the concept album “The Fox and the Bird” on June 2 – and I cannot stop listening to it.
The Boston-based band describes itself as “modern progressive rock/metal… taking inspiration from a wide array of genres,” and its latest album is perhaps the strongest expression of this vision so far.
Currently composed of vocalist Casey Lee Williams, guitarist/pianist Martín de Lima, drummer Augusto Bussio, and bassist Peter de Reyna, the band collaborated with backing vocalist Elizabeth Hull for two of the tracks on this album – their second collaboration following the band’s debut album “Limbo”. “The Fox and the Bird” is also the band’s final album to feature guitarist Martin Gonzalez, who announced in April that he would be amicably departing the band after its recently-finished first tour.
The band has been playing since 2019, when they emerged from recording studios of the Berklee College of Music with their first single “Rapture.” That same year saw the release of “Limbo” in October, and their “Under the Veil” EP followed a year later in 2020. While their new work isn’t a completely new animal, like a butterfly from a chrysalis it is a beautiful evolution of their distinctive style.
Over 51 total minutes and 13 tracks, “The Fox and the Bird” reads like a timeless animal fable set to music, telling the story of its titular protagonists’ journey to call back the rain to their drought-stricken home. It’s a wild and whimsical tale, flowing seamlessly from the upbeat travel vibes of the eponymous song, through powerful instrumentals that weave together the central pair’s encounters with the rest of the animal cast – from the somber exposition of “The Racoon (and the Myth)” to the head-banging aggressive metal of antagonists such as “The Snake,” “The Bear,” and my new favorite rage song “The Crocodile.”
The tale reaches a loud and intense climax with “The Mountain,” and wraps up in the serene, meditative resolution that is “The Rain,” a two-part finale that punctuates the tremendous range of all members of the band.
“We truly poured our hearts into it,” Williams tweeted the day after the album’s release. “Get ready for a whirlwind of a story. I hope you love getting to know these characters as much as I have.”
Williams and Gonzalez also released the highly-anticipated RWBY Volume 9 Soundtrack last Friday, the first of the animated series’ OSTs to see Williams take the helm – previously commandeered by her father Jeff Williams, though she has been the principle vocalist of the show’s iconic songs since its first trailer in 2012.