The Cult of Vermin

Saratan are a modern thrash band hailing from Cracow, Poland, and The Cult of Vermin is their debut LP. I say “modern” because they don’t fit the mold of all the retro or “revival” bands that are coming out of the woodwork, and incorporate a fat dose of groove to their sound.

While The Cult of Vermin isn’t a terrible album by any means, it doesn’t strike me as particularly great either. The overall sound may remind of Chaos A.D. era Sepultura sans the tribal elements, Vulgar-era Pantera and One Man Army without most of the death influences. Sounds like it could be awesome right? It would be, but a lack of dynamics and tempo changes from song to song hinders its potential. Most of the tempos sit in mid-paced territory, never reaching break-neck speeds, but never slowing to a crawl. The riffing of Adam Augustynski and Slwaek Kawa is just stock-level thrash/groove, and the soloing feels standard and unspectacular. Vocalist/bassist Jarek Niemiec bears a hoarse, gritty delivery which also borders on being monotonous, save for a couple instances (opener “Future Is Grim” and one album highlight “Serve the Death”) of a lower register growl.

On the upside, The Cult of Vermin packs one hell of a thick, menacing guitar tone – it’s a shame that there’s such a lack of quality riffs to accompany it. As I said prior, “Serve the Death” is the albums one high point with a simple yet awesome stop/start riff in the verses.

If Saratan can work on creating quality riffs and adding a bit more versatility, they could deliver a worthwhile thrash/groove album in the future, but for the time being, The Cult of Vermin is just ho-hum.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
January 25th, 2009


  1. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    Horrible. Why did they bother…

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