Ominous Scriptures churn bone with death metal mind crushing on ‘Rituals of Mass Self-Ignition’

Have you ever been punched in the face? If not, it’s not a great experience! If someone out there is trying to tell you that you need to feel that before you can truly enjoy your life, chances are they’re a sociopath that no one likes and deserves every fist to the mouth. No worries, though, as there are death metal bands I’m convinced are only here to help you experience that in art form. Which is amazing.

Belarusian brutal death metal fuckers Ominous Scriptures are here to let you feel that fist to the face without the bruising and mental trauma, and their third record “Rituals of Mass Self-Ignition” is an incredibly safe way to be brutalized without losing blood or being wrecked permanently. The band—vocalist Pawel Nalecki, guitarist/vocalist Siarhei Liakh, guitarist Pavel Lapkouski, bassist Andrey Pilipenko, drummer Alex Navitski—puts on a physical and mental display that’s impossible to shake off, and their approach is menacing and deadly, bulldozing into a record that’s technically proficient but also bleeds heavily from self-inflicted wounds.

“Demonic Totem I Am” rips open, regurgitating brutal death in a pile in front of you, shifty playing and monstrous growls forming an impressive tandem. The leads churn as the growls get nastier, landing some deadly final blows. The title cut blisters as harsh growls knife, and the battering pace causes instantaneous bruising. Guitars encircle as the playing goes off and rattles skulls, the humidity thickens, and a last burst of bludgeoning leaves mental scars. “Enraged” chugs as muddy growls land, and the guitars charge dangerously. The playing manages to be driving and drubbing at the same time, a battering ram striking you in the chest and knocking the wind out of you. “Fanning the Flames” delivers twisting guitars and ugly, warped tempos that are disorienting and gutting. The guitars dice flesh, the soloing floods your senses, and then the ugliness swells, bludgeoning into weirdness.

“Serpentine Wisdom” is tangling as the drums erupt and shake your skeletal structure, the growls wretch, and the guitars glimmer in the murk. Growls scrape as the playing hits hyperdrive, plastering and burying your face in ash. “Mangled Perception” arrives amid surging riffs and raw growls, the muddy and guttural force making sparks fly. Guitars play tricks and feel like they’re bending time, the growls increase the harshness factor, and everything comes to a fiery finish. “Inhabitant of the Lacrimarium” drills right away, the growls making everything feel hostile as a jerky, furious tempo causes confusion. The drums plaster and scramble brains, riffs blast and shift, and the heat melts flesh from the bone. Closer “Codex Rescriptus” is smeary and rubbery at birth, violent growls lurching and helping enhance the razor-sharp riffs. Dark edges lead to a strange field, the intensity rips anew, and tornadic pressure mounts and sends the filth catapulting into space.

“Rituals of Mass Self-Ignition” is a bruising, disorienting trip through death metal that generously serves brutality in a manner that makes it hard to maintain your mental capacities. Ominous Scriptures have proven over time how insanely flexible they are musically as they apply their skills to a compactly served record that makes its point and never overstays its welcome. This is a record that’s not welcoming, greets you with open hostility, and twists your brain into puddle of goo.

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