Meet The Band: Omnivide

Deepti Suddul

The Canadian progressive group Omnivide is in this week’s Meet The Band spotlight. Their debut album is A Tale Of Fire. Guitarist/vocalist Samuel Frenette introduces us to his band.

Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Omnivide.
Samuel Frenette: Before we formed Omnivide, three of our members were in an Opeth tribute project that ended in 2018. During that project, it had already been decided that some of the members wanted to write original music together and form a new band. So, when the Opeth project dissolved, our three members got to work on writing songs and finding the other members, eventually arriving at our current lineup. We wrote/recorded our debut album from 2018 to 2023, and started playing live shows in 2022.

Describe the songwriting process for A Tale Of Fire.
The goal with this album was to infuse our favorite influences into a progressive melting pot that also had its own distinct identity, taking inspiration from bands like Obscura, The Black Dahlia Murder, Wintersun, and many others. For three years starting in 2018, we worked solely on the songwriting, defining our sound with a blend of heavy death metal riffs and clean sections organized in a progressive structure. A big ingredient of our sound that we figured out and focused on was the use of orchestral samples and synths, which we wanted to use to make our songs more epic and grandiose.

This process of defining our sound continued during the recording process, which happened from 2021 to 2023, as we kept experimenting with orchestral layers and synths, guitar and bass tones, drum patterns, vocal styles and more. It was essentially a five year process that took us from not having any songs written to feeling satisfied with our first finished product. Our hope is that we’ve been able to define a sound that is unique in some aspects at least.

What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
The weekend we spent recording drums at Studio La Boîte Noire comes to mind. I think when we finally entered a real studio and started laying down drum tracks, the whole process of making the album suddenly felt a lot more real. Until then we had just been recording pre-production demos at home. That weekend was simultaneously fun and productive, François Fortin, who owns and runs the studio from his house, hosted us and overall it was a blast.

What was the biggest challenge in its creation?
The biggest challenge in the album creation process was learning the technical aspects of recording and producing since it was our first time recording an album all by ourselves (everything was self-recorded and produced except for the drums). There were many technical hurdles along the way, but always took them as an opportunity to learn & improve.

How would you characterize its style/sound?
We are a mix of prog, death metal, and melodic metal, with layers of orchestral elements/synths. Some of our biggest influences are Opeth, Obscura, Necrophagist, Wintersun, Alkaloid, and Devin Townsend to name a few.

What lyrical topics do you cover?
The lyrical content on the album revolves around the concept of death and rebirth, and we use fire as a recurring metaphor to explore it throughout the album. Fire is a deep and complex thing when viewed through the lens of what it means in relation to death, as it can be a destructive force, but also provides us with some of the things necessary for life, and even after it destroys, it leaves a blank slate for new things to grow. It also represents the inner fire that we all have inside, the lust and passion for life that can burn strong or wither away over the years. The lyrics on the album essentially talk about death and rebirth in all of those aspects/perspectives.

What led you to go the independent route for its release?
Simply put, we had no traction as a band prior to releasing this debut album, so it seemed like the logical decision to release it independently. We all know how oversaturated the music scene is these days with more music coming out than ever before, so pitching your music to a record label as an unknown artist doesn’t have the same potential it once did. Plus, there are so many tools that exist now to help bands release music on their own, so it’s not as daunting of a process as it once was.

What are your goals and expectations for the album?
With this album, we hope to get our name out there and gain some fans – that’s really the main thing. To have people hear our album and enjoy it, and consequently grow our following on social media/streaming platforms, etc. We also hope to get better touring opportunities.

What has been your most memorable Omnivide live show?
So far, the most memorable show we played would still be our first one – it was a small outdoor show on a super warm day. I was nervous that something might go wrong on the gear/technical side of things, but everything turned out ok!

What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We are getting ready to go on a tour of Eastern Canada to support the release of our debut album. We’ll be playing 15 shows between March 29th to April 21st, from Nova Scotia to Ontario. It’ll be the most shows we’ve ever played and the farthest we’ve ever gone so we’re super pumped for that.

How did you get started in music?
I started taking guitar lessons at age 7 but only got more seriously into guitar around age 12. My father played guitar and sang in a band so that certainly had an influence on me as well. When my uncle showed me metal bands when I was 10 years old, that’s when I really started to get obsessed with music.

Who were your early influences and inspirations?
I started off listening to classic rock as many people do, and eventually migrated towards some classic 80s/90s metal bands like Metallica, Megadeth and Nevermore. However, my first true obsession with a band was with Blind Guardian – they were my favorite band throughout high school, and I used to just listen to their entire discography on repeat. As such, André Olbrich from BG was a huge influence on me (I must have learned 15-20 full Blind Guardian songs in those years). I was also very much into Dream Theater, and John Petrucci was also a massive influence. Other notable influences would be Jeff Loomis from Nevermore, Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth, and Jari Mäenpää from Wintersun.

What was the first metal concert you attended?
My first metal concert was Iced Earth and Nightwish in Quebec City. I was 13 years old, and my friend and I convinced his parents to do the 8-hour drive from Moncton, NB to Quebec City just for that show. It definitely marked me quite strongly at that age!

What’s your all-time favorite album?
That’s such a difficult question… but I’ll go with the debut Wintersun album.

What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
Aside from music, I like to exercise (gym and running), play video games, hike/travel, and read.

What’s the best thing you’ve binge watched lately?
I recently watched The Handmaid’s Tale, a very dark dystopian series. It’s very well done, one of the best series I’ve watched in a while.

What’s in your current heavy musical rotation?
Lately, I’ve been listening to the new Job For A Cowboy album Moon Healer, Ihsahn’s latest album, some classic Opeth Records, and an awesome prog band called Nospun who released their debut album Opus in 2023.

(interview published March 23, 2024)

Listen to Omnivide – “Holy Killer”


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