Sunday 16 April 2023

Ominous Scriptures - Rituals Of Mass Self-Ignition

Labels: Willowtip Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 27 Jan 2023


1. Demonic Totem I Am

2. Rituals Of Mass Self-Ignition

3. Enraged

4. Fanning The Flames

5. Serpentine Wisdom

6. Mangled Perception

7. Inhabitant Of The Lacrimarium

8. Codex Rescriptus

Willowtip Records has always been a label that's pushed extreme metal at it's most extreme. From the likes of Discordance Axis and Capharnaum during their early days to Pyrrhon, Seven Nines and Tens, and Belarusian brutal death metallers Ominous Scriptures more recently. It's the latter band that draws my attention this evening. Ominous Scriptures released their third and latest full-length via Willowtip in January. Let's get into it!

Death metal’s such a varied sub-genre and it keeps on growing with every passing week. Granted, Rituals Of Mass Self-Ignition was released back in January but it’s still hot! Album opener ‘Demonic Totem I Am’ presents a rawness that’s not usually associated with brutal death metal bands. The vocals are the main focus of that rawness, while the instrumentation gives off a slamming intensity early on. The percussion leads the way on the title track ‘Rituals Of Mass Self-Ignition’, providing a maddening tempo for the guitars to align with and align they do. Brutal death can be a bit of an endurance test sometimes, especially if you’re a fan of old-school, doomier death metal but Ominous Scriptures have their style nailed down and it works really well.

It’s all about the riffs for me on ‘Enraged’, which goes by all too quickly. There’s some melody present but it’s only fleeting. Instead, OS’s slam-death influence shows itself right the way through to ‘Fanning The Flames’, which is both unapologetically brutal but also technical in the best way. That explains why OS have become a prominent member of Willowtip’s roster in recent years. 

The album’s latter half begins with ‘Serpentine Wisdom’, which is where OS’s thunderous bass hits me. I thought for a minute that it was my neighbour banging on the floor above me, but I was wrong. That’s how massive it is! Talking of massive, ‘Mangled Perception’ is jammed full with every element that makes brutal death metal interesting, from the percussive barrage to the razor riffage and the deep, bellowed growls. 

There’s literally no let-up as ‘Inhabitant Of The Lacrimarium’ takes over and continues the brutality that’s been the bedrock of this album so far. The lead-work towards the end is well worth shouting about alone. OS do at times seem a little confined, when they could really let their artistic technicality show, but that’s a minor gripe from me as album closer ‘Codex Rescriptus’ (the longest song on the album) drips with old-school atmospherics behind the brutality.

Rituals Of Mass Self-Ignition is an album that really grows on you. It’s not for the faint-of-heart but it’s really enjoyable at the same time. There’s definitely much more to this sub-genre and Ominous Scriptures. You just have to be willing to find it.

You can stream and purchase Rituals Of Mass Self-Ignition digitally and physically below:-

Ominous Scriptures -

Willowtip Records -

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