Ok Goodnight – Limbo
Ok Goodnight is a Progressive Metal band from Boston, MA, USA. Initially meant to be a fun project, the two Martins and Augusto, who were all studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, ended up making this more of a priority. Limbo is the band’s debut album and is an excellent example of how diverse and eclectic Prog Metal can be.
- Casey Lee Williams – Vocals
- Martin Gonzalez – Guitars
- Martin De Lima – Piano, Keyboards
- Augusto Bussio – Drums
- Ron Bernhaut – Bass
- Elizabeth Hull – Vocals (Rapture, Free Fall)
Limbo is Ok Goodnight’s debut album. Self-released on October 31, 2019, it provides an eclectic mix of genres that run the gamut from jazz to pop to metal and all points in between. This is a record that shifts genres and gears simultaneously, so hold on and get ready for a wild ride through an exciting soundscape that will leave you breathless.
- Think Again
- Free Fall
- Stand Still
- Height Shift
- Day And Night
The record opens with “Astray,” a haunting, almost discordant piano tune that gently leads into “Think Again.” The trail off at the end of “Astray,” coupled with the fade-in to “Think Again,” set up that guitar riff beautifully. The drums are cool and quirky at the start but get heavy and fast later on. The bass goes from lighter and paced with the guitar rhythm to dark and heavy in all the right places. The vocals soar over the soundscape for the most part, except when they come in low and eerie under the rhythm. There is a lot of bouncing between light and heavy in this tune. Each instrument gets to play a quick lead fill before they join together to repeat that phrase. Interesting and really well done.
“Free Fall” then comes in quietly. There are some underlying jazz sounds on this one. Casey’s vocals get up into head voice and drop into her lower range, both hitting fantastic clean notes. The lead under the rhythm at the halfway point is a nice touch, especially as it fades from channel to channel in the headphones. The drop-out for the quick piano fill is a bit of a shock to the system but hits at just the right time. There is a lot of that drastic shifting all over this record, and it adds a lot of texture to the record.
Next, we get “Meridian,” starting slow and melodic, but with a build that lets you know there is more to this song than meets the ear. The drums are well-paced, and the guitar is very melodic. The drop-out for the piano phrasing is another serious shift in tone while maintaining the tempo. The guitar comes back in, and the lead work over the rhythm is really nice. The lead work stays in step with the rhythm, not trying to overshadow or bury it.
The rock really kicks back in with “Rapture.” Here, you get a serious dose of the progressive metal Ok Goodnight is capable of producing. That guitar riff is delicious. The rhythm is stunning on this track, and all the instruments work well together here. This band sometimes goes for variable patterns with the different instruments, but here they lock in and go full force as a team. That is until everything drops out and the piano plays you a mournful tune for a short bit. I absolutely love the build on the piano that leads into the second half of the song. That is a spectacular transition. Then, you are treated to two competing solos that are both really well done.
The dark, haunted tune “Stand Still” comes next, adding in strings and using the piano to set the mood; it fades, only to have “Height Shift” come in gently to take over. The guitar work is outstanding here. The layered rhythm and lead offset each other very well. There is some pretty nice shredding in that early solo. The guitar and bass synch up for a bit before going their separate ways again. After another fantastic tempo shift, there is a quick bass fill, then more piano and some almost jazz improv. This is a really complex song that has a lot to digest. Listen a number of times just to make sure to catch it all.
“Day And Night” is another slow burn at the start. Subdued vocals that are a little soothing, and a little haunting, lead into a more upbeat section before the tempo drops again into a calming cadence. The shifts are like day and night, alternating one after the other. The heavy interlude in the middle is on point! The guitar solo is phenomenal, the best work on this record. After the jazzy earlier section, this is a killer injection of heaviness. As expected, it recedes again, and the song continues slower and much more melodic.
Closing out the disc is “Sanctuary.” The lone piano tone, the vocal fade-in, and the strings all build a bit of hope. The gradual increase is stunning, never getting into a hurry or trying to rush anything. This is an excellent way to close out an eclectic record.
Ok Goodnight is an odd band. They do not fit a mold or a standard. They are jazzy, heavy, melodic, chaotic, and controlled. They hit progressive and heavy metal in the same song that gives you pop and rock. The vocals are often soft and airy but can also be dark and haunting. The guitars and keys work together and fight each other in equal measure. They always hit their mark, though. The bass and drums play rhythm and drop in fills and leads in a few unexpected places, showing they aren’t relegated to the background.
“Rapture” and “Sanctuary” are the two favorites on the record for me. The brazen tone and tempo shifts, covering ground from melodic pop to heavy, progressive metal, really resonate with me. These two songs give me the clearest picture of Ok Goodnight’s sheer breadth into their music. Not many bands dare to go this far and wide on a single disc. Ok Goodnight not only dares, but they also stare you in the face and smirk while they watch the realization dawn on you that they know exactly what they are doing. Well done.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 8
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting –8
- Production – 8
- Overall – 8.60