Lee Speaks About Music… #199

Arteries –  Omnerod


After a couple of years, the band from Belgium Omnerod are back with a new EP entitled Construction. It’s the first I’ve really heard from them since the release of their 2nd album Arteries that was released back in 2019. Back then the band were more or less a two-piece outfit that used other session players to make that album and was trying to expand the band so that they could take their music out on the road and try and attract more attention to their music so to speak.

Judging by the video that the band posted on their Facebook wall a few days ago you can see that it appears that the band have now expanded to a four-piece outfit and I have to say they even look and sound like a GREAT! live act.

The two original band members Romain Jeuniaux (Vocals/Guitar) and Pablo Schwilden Diaz (Drums) have added the Growl Vocalist Anthony Deneyer who appeared as a session player on their previous album to the lineup. He also plays the guitar here too. Taking care of the bass duties is André Six who produced and recorded their previous album and it appears that they did not have to look that far to get the band ready to take it on the road.

For those who are not familiar with Omnerod, they are very much a Prog/Metal outfit that not only DJENT! but have added melodic structure to their music so it also sits in with the PROG! side of things which is more suited to my own personal taste. This is a band that will also incorporate death metal into the melting pot which is suited to Deneyer’s “Growl Voice” and as a rule, I am not into that at all. However, his grunts and growls work extremely well with Jeuniaux’s normal voice and that is one of the things that drew my attention to their second album Arteries. The same combination continues to work its way very much into the new material we have here too.

You might like to check out my review of Arteries and it is an album I certainly would recommend and has given me some GREAT! pleasure over the past couple of years. You can find it here: https://leespeaksoutaboutmusic.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/lee-speaks-about-music-118/

I’ve also noticed it’s now been made available on CD as well. For now, let’s get back to the EP in question but before we do let’s take a look at the packaging and artwork.

Packaging & Artwork…

The bands latest offering has been made available in the form of a Digital Download only which is the sensible thing to do especially has it comes with a “Name Your Price” price tag. So technically you can get it for nothing though I certainly think it’s worth chucking something there way to show some support for all the hard work that has been put into it.

The cover design was done by Intuitive Designs and judging by the album cover it does tend to bear more relation to the world of PROG! rather than Metal. Its sort of like Led Zeppelin meets Pink Floyd on the brighter side of the moon so to speak. I think that artwork is OK though I would not say that it’s that apt to title of the EP.

The EP In Review…

Omnerod’s latest offering Construction is a 4 track EP of new and revamped old material and has a playing time of 23 minutes, 22 seconds. However the band decided on an “Extended Edition” for the release and it includes 3 live (or supposedly live) tracks making the total playing time 48 minutes, 44 seconds. It’s now more like a lengthy album rather than an EP.

All of the new material the band have worked on was done over the last couple of years and each track was composed, produced and recorded working with various processes, gear and people. It was in 2020 that the band announced their new four-man lineup though due to Covid restrictions the band have had very little to do regarding playing live.

However, the band did get to play at the Festival above last month and that was one of two times they actually have played live. They also have a few more session players onboard with them for the newer material and have been making the odd work in progress video to which they have posted from time to time on Youtube as in this example below.

Company Accepted” is one of the newer songs and here you can see how they have programmed the keyboard parts and also how Jeuniaux also uses a guitar synth to play some of the parts besides all the other guitar parts that have been put into the track. It looks pretty impressive watching both Romain and André work together. So let’s now take a look and the musicians and credits.

Musicians & Credits…

All music Written & Arranged by Omnerod except track 3 Arranged by Omnerod written by Courage Umaigba, Daniel Griffiths & Darius Keeler. Produced by André Six. Co-Producers Romain Jeuniaux (tracks 2, 3 and 4), Pablo Schwilden Diaz (tracks 5, 6 and 7), Julien Huyssens (track 3) and Anthony Deneyer (track 4). Mixing Engineers Julien Huyssens (tracks 3-7), André Six (track 1) and Chris Coulter (track 2). Mastered by Tony Lindgren (track 1), Chris Coulter (track 2), Lucas de la Rosa (track 3), Rémi Salvador (track 4). Visuals: Intuitive Designs.

Romain Jeuniaux: Normal Vocals/Guitars/Samples, Synths & Effects.
Pablo Schwilden Diaz: Drums/Percussion/Samples, Synths & Effects.
Anthony Deneyer: Growl Vocals (tracks 1,3,4,5,6). Guitar (tracks 4,5,6,7).
André Six: Bass (tracks 2 – 7).

Additional Musicians:
Eerik Maurage: Classical Guitar (track 3).
Jørgen Munkeby: Saxophone (track 3).
Nicolas Draps: Electric Violin (track 3).
Thomas Clément: Bass (track 1).
Sara Handerveyden & Elisa Malki Vocals (track 2).

The EP Tracks In Review…

If you have been following the band the Construction EP does not really give you anything new because the band have already released each track individually over the last couple of years. However, as they mentioned by sticking all the tracks together this way is more of a cohesive package and was constructed to bridge the gap whilst working on their third album. That’s also most likely how they arrived at the title for the EP. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the 4 studio tracks first and I shall go further into the live material at the end.

Track 1. Lines (Vocal Version).

The first of the songs is actually now a song and originally it was an instrumental track that appeared on the bands second album Arteries. It also has the original bass player Thomas Clément so regarding the musical side of things nothing has been touched. Jeuniaux penned the new lyrics for the song and both he and Deneyer have done a GRAND! job of putting them across and I have to say they fit in with the music like a glove.

As an instrumental piece “Lines” had quite a bit of power but with lyrics and the vocals it hits you with a lot more than a ton of bricks and its power now is perhaps more equivalent to the weight of the Empire State building. I really like what they have done here and prefer this version to the original instrumental version.

Track 2. Company Accepted.

This next song is one of the new ones and like most of the songs on this EP they were released as singles earlier on in the year. The song itself is quite ambient and keyboard-driven and is structured around the keyboard. There is no GROWL! vocals here and Jeuniaux gets to sing this one solely on his own apart from the background vocals to which Sara Handerveyden & Elisa Malki do a GRAND! job in the haunting choral sections of the song.

As you will hear in the video above it shows you how the song worked out and I would also say that this is perhaps different to the norm or the material you will find on Arteries but nevertheless, there is some quite impressive guitar work put into it all and they all do a GRAND! job on it.

Track 3. You Make Me Feel.

This next song is a cover of a song that was written by Courage Umaigba, Daniel Griffiths & Darius Keeler of the band Archive. To be honest I have never heard of them or the song before and I did take the liberty of giving the original version a blast and to be honest it’s not really my cup of tea. I thought I would post both versions here so you can hear for yourself.

The original version has more of a modern-day pop/rock approach to it and the female vocals do not really have the edge to make the song rock in the first place. It perhaps gives it a sweeter vibe against all the dirt so to speak. I would even go as far as to say that the lyrical content is child’s play and nothing to write home about. But then again that’s really typical of most pop songs.

Omnerod on the other hand has given the song a totally different approach and added real balls to the song which is more suited to my taste. Their version is in a different ballpark completely and it’s far from a carbon copy of the original. They have obviously adapted it to their own style and it works pretty well for them doing so. It is without doubt along with “Lines” a very heavy and powerful track.

The song also features Jørgen Munkeby on saxophone and Nicolas Draps on electric violin and the murderous job they do on them blends in very well with the mayhem that the band have instilled into the song. I am pretty sure Archive would be well happy that they covered their song as well.

Track 4. Sandglass.

This is the only song on the EP that you did not really get the chance to hear beforehand and they only put it out the day before the release of the EP. It’s very much a ballad of a song that tries to build up with the progression it contains throughout, although personally, I feel it does not get there. To be honest I do feel they could have done more to it and built it up a lot better for it to explode into action.

I would also say that even though the song does tend to drag its way along surprisingly it does seem to be all over in no time at all even though it’s the longest track out of the four studio tracks. It does however round off and put the studio side of the EP to bed quite well and to be honest the 23 minutes and 22 seconds of studio material is perhaps more suited to the time slot of a CD EP.

Extended Live Content.

Tracks 5 – 7. Ascaris (Live). Company Accepted (Live). Nothing Was Vain (Live).

The extra live content you get is actually longer than the studio content and at 25 minutes, 22 seconds it is perhaps more like a mini-album. You may have noticed earlier that I stated that it was supposedly live and I did have my reasons for that because the live performance of these three tracks was not from a live concert and was made in a studio with lighting and cameras. It was also made for The Progspace Online Festival in a way of promoting the EP and was put out on that Tube Channel last month on the 20th of November.

The good thing about it all though is that you do get to see all 4 band members working as a unit and they are also to a degree playing live though it’s more of a studio process that has been given to the end product. Omnerod’s music in general can be quite overproduced and more of a studio product and even has a 4-piece band there is no way they could play everything that is contained in the original recording like you are hearing on these live tracks. What would help is for them to bring in a keyboard player to play for them at their live shows.

I will say that the band have made all three numbers you get here sound live to a degree especially “Company Accepted” where André Six’s bass has more of a spring to its step in the way it’s punctuated and the snappy springy sound coming from it. Around the 2:49 mark you will also notice a different fill by Pablo Schwilden Diaz’s drums and the burst on the guitar that leads it in. No doubt it’s being played live even if there is no audience here.

The same can be said for both “Ascaris” and “Nothing Was Vain” and these couple of GREAT! songs are most welcome here. Both tracks from the album Arteries are a couple of strong contenders for the albums TOP SPOT! that I pointed out in my review of the album. As I mentioned earlier as a live act Omnerod certainly look the part and you can catch the live session right here: 00:36:18

Summary & Conclusion…

To sum up and conclude my review of the EP Construction by Omnerod. The material we have here was really put out for the band to try and still keep in contention and the biggest majority of it does not really give you a real account of what this band is capable of doing I feel. The way the 4 studio tracks have been put together does not really show you them working as a band either and Anthony Deneyer got perhaps the wrong end of the straw with how little he was involved.

To be perfectly honest it’s a shame really because what really hindered the bands progress was Covid 19 and with that popping up on the eve of their last album Arteries did not really give the band a chance to showcase the material live and pick up more attention. It’s a very strong album as well and the opening track “Lines” is my personal highlight on this EP along with the three live tracks and they really show exactly what they are capable of doing as a band.

Having watched an interview recently with Romain Jeuniaux on Progtalks! that was put out last month on the Tube. It appears the band are working on new material for a new album that should be hitting the shelves sometime in the summer of next year. What I personally would like to see is a bit more fire and the band working more as a unit as I know they are well capable of doing.

Construction may offer the listener something that bit extra to whet your appetite to fill the gap between what is to come. Whether it’s enough is really down to your own preferential taste. I would say the EP is pretty much a solid piece of work and it’s perhaps only really “Sandglass” that is the weak link in the chain for my liking. But one cannot really complain after all it’s not as if the band are really asking for any money for it. You can see that quite a strong body of work has been put into it which is why I recommend bunging in a few bucks.

You can listen or even download the Construction EP for Free from the following link: https://omnerod.bandcamp.com/album/construction-extended-edition

Offers Much More Than Extended Play…

The EP tracklisting is as follows:
01. Lines (Vocal Version). 5:57.
02. Company Accepted. 5:15.
03. You Make Me Feel. 5:38.
04. Sandglass. 6:32.
05. Ascaris (Live). 8:35.
06. Company Accepted (Live). 5:14.
07. Nothing Was Vain (Live). 11:33.

Price Point Rating Score. 10/10.
EP Rating Score. 8/10.

2 thoughts on “Lee Speaks About Music… #199

  1. Really an interesting band! I have listened to a few snippets and they manage it to mix Progressive Rock with a very modern vision of Metal. The guitar-playing is quite impressive and I would call the approach “Djent” with the typical use of extended range guitars. But while Djent also contains often calm, ambient-style parts before the mayhem starts again, Omnerod put more care into the calmer parts of their music with careful arrangements. If I had to find references I would describe them as “a jam-session of Periphery and Dream Theater”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The word “DJENT! is what I should have put and not “GENT”, With all that was going on dealing with my wife at the time it was hard to focus at times which is why I most likely made that mistake. Thanks for reminding me Dirk and to be honest I had never heard of the word till you mentioned it originally sometime back basically because you are into metal more than myself. I am pretty sure the band would be well pleased to read your comment here with that comparison of Periphery and Dream Theater.


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