Berto : Saratan is a Polish band that has evolved from a thrash metal band to a band that takes its influences from Eastern music and spreads them over a layer of metal guitars. That layer of guitars has become thinner over the course of the past albums and on their new album 'Dark Orient' there is still a real heavy riff among the mostly oriental instrumentation here and there. It is beautiful music, where the band wants to come across as authentic as possible by working together with musicians from Tunisia and Iran for example, but you have to be in the right mood and create the right conditions for yourself (a little incense maybe) and then the music can apply its mesmerizing effect.
'Ederlezi' is a nice up-tempo song with a good balance between the heavy riffs and the mystical instruments, but 'Khan Tegri' on the other hand is really boring and far too slow. 'Dark Orient' is also a challenge with its 15 minutes, but it certainly has its beautiful moments. Striking is the cover of 'Wherever I May Roam' by Metallica, which, as it is with every cover song, will have to deal with polarising reviews. I personally find it a performance that does not do it for me. To top it all off, we also have an Arabic version and a Persian version of the song 'The Desert Winds' where I do not really notice the difference, although it might be in the language. I end up with a double feeling about this CD, basically it is beautiful music but often it has little or nothing to do with metal and you absolutely have to be in the right mood. However, it is nice to see that a band develops themselves in this way from album to album.