Returning from the blackened woods of western Tennessee, Vile Haint returns with their latest dark baptismal offering, Sacrificial Baptism in Murky Waters. A straight forward evolution from their previous release. Still keeping much of the same themes as before, touching upon the darker side of Americana and the old paranormal stories that still haunt the area to this day, but the most notable changes is in the music. The sound is much fuller and the progression is more straight forward and clearer. A proper sequel that only improves on the last.
There are a few musical themes sticking around from the previous release. The fusion of old Americana musical themes and black metal is such a unique mixture that had me hooked from the second I saw it, but, unlike the previous release, Sacrificial Baptism in Murky Waters takes the sound to the next level, sporting a more vibrant and upfront production style, while still very raw, personally I feel like there’s more life behind the music, rather than being lost in some haze. The added synths are a nice touch as well, not too overpowering and taking center stage but really just fleshing out the riffs and the overall gothic atmosphere of Vile Haint. Clackner’s guitar work shines yet again creating memorable and contemplative riffs that really transports the imagination deep within the Appalachian mountain range. Ormerod’s drumming is even better in this release when compared to the last able to fuse those iconic black metal blast beats with the guitars and synths really creating for an out of this world experience.
There’s very little to complain about this album, it really is just a straight continuation and growth from the previous release, Ol’ Hatchie Haint, which admittedly slipped past my radar the first time. Hearing the two albums back to back really shows the growth the band has and the direction they’re going with their sound is simply fantastic. The duo here are truly at their most comfortable and being their most authentic selves when it comes to Vile Haint. The Moonlight Cypress Archetype label truly has some diverse sounds and Vile Haint I feel should be the starting point for anyone interesting in hearing all the different releases on the label. Its a stepping stone into a different lens of Americana.