Sarmat's RS-28 is modern Death Metal in the Polish lineage. The cold mechanical tonal vista found in Behemoth's Demigod era or Decapitated's Negation / Organic Hallucinosis is to be found in Sarmat's blend of blasts and zizzing guitars. Vocalist Łukasz Kobusiński agrees that if there were to be definable Polish Death Metal characteristics, I have mostly nailed them down. "During the promotion process of our RS-28 album I got a few opinions similar to yours. For me, as a guy born in Poland and living here for all my life till now it's hard to judge if the statement is true or not. I don't see too many specific characteristics in Polish death metal... Maybe the mechanical mood and industrial atmosphere are the Polish remarkable signs, but I wouldn't be able to categorize the band playing death metal this way as the one coming out of Poland only because of the fact."
RS-28 demands active listening. Where much of Death Metal's landscape can be listened to from afar and receive reasonable clarity into what makes the genre tick, Sarmat is best enjoyed in lockstep with each pace forward of the album. It is, perhaps, problematic that RS-28 could at times become boring when relied on as background ear-fodder, but it also speaks to the detailed musical ideas present that it is not such an easily digested slab of extreme metal. Łukasz delved into the composition of the album for me. "The main composer was Daniel, who is also the composer of the new stuff for the second album. He created the music and did preliminary drum parts arrangements (set them in the computer program). He recorded the guitar parts, the bass guitar parts and VST instruments parts at his home. Then the session drummer (Krzysztof Klingbein, known for his work as a live musician for Vader and plenty of session recordings for many bands) recorded the drum parts at his rehearsal room, which is also his recording room. At this time the core of the album was established."
Regarding his approach to the vocals and the crisp professional production of RS-28. "I was asked to do this (record vocals - Orion) when compositions were finally recorded, so there was no chance to change anything – I had to do my job without any excuses and attempts to rearrange or re-record a single sound. My vocal style is rather death metal one than any 'other metal vocal style one', so at this part of creation we have reached the foundation of the Sarmat band style to the RS-28 album. We were pleased by the fact that Arkadiusz “Malta” Malczewski (known from his work as a live sound engineer for Behemoth and for his previous works as a studio sound engineer for that band) agreed to do this job for us. There were plenty of mixed versions and we were seeking the best one for some time. This third part allowed us to create the final version of the album we are writing about now."
Sarmat excels in the sharp usage of bright melodic highlights, an interesting lack of transitional filler, and in guitarists' Daniel Szymanowicz and Krzysztof Kopczeński's ability to consistently find discomforting and tense melodic movements. Drummer Krzysztof Klingbein is impressive throughout, offering endless blast-beats and double bass intensity for the shifting sands that are the guitarist's melodies. Łukasz offers a top-tier vocal performance. Deep bellowing growled vocals which are on the lower end but short of guttural. Malczewski's production on RS-28 complements these stylistic tendencies of the band and the choices Sarmat has made with respect to their instrument tone appears well thought. A grating hollow guitar tone allows melodies and notes that may otherwise be drowned out in a thicker tone cut through the rest of the mix while playing to the mechanized drumming. The overall effect is one of complete cohesion and purpose.
"Evilution" is the album's strongest track and epitomizes the usage of all these finely honed elements. A short tense intro erupts unexpectedly into the albums most memorable verse riff; down-tuned rubbery guitars underlie short bursts of higher-octave ringing cadence that leave tense phantom harmonies lingering throughout the track. Riffs simply turn into each other perfectly, like perfectly sized bolts into their corresponding nuts; no pauses, stops, gaps, shifts - just moments folding over into new moments. Łukasz's vocals are perfectly placed and play counter in many ways to the mechanical ceaseless drumming. They are the only natural rhythm present. Łukasz's has his own thoughts on the song and the role his vocals play. "Well, it wasn't my favorite track at the beginning. Neither it is now, but now I may say that it's a very good one for playing live. It gives a moment for taking a breath between much faster songs and it has a sinister atmosphere that is very eligible for live shows of a death/black metal band such as Sarmat. As for vocals arranged to this particular composition there is something unique in them. Despite it's rather a middle tempo song with strong, but monumental and not very aggressive vocals it includes the fastest vocal part on the album. I tried to emphasize the diversity of the riffs in the track by creating vocal parts different to each other in one track. I think I have achieved this effect.
The greatest concern I have with Sarmat's overall presentation across RS-28 is the general simplicity of the songs. While it's true that there are loads of nuanced details and layers to explore, the general structure is often elementary. The lack of transitional segments throughout in addition to a consistent usage of no more than three or four main riffs in each song, even if the songs are short, may be a turn off for seasoned listeners who prefer a more complex linear composition or a narrative feel to their death metal. As a whole, however, this simplicity gives heightened impact and tension, as the listener waits for something to happen. There is an emotional bleakness to this lack of structural movement which is calming and unnerving at the same time. The album cover depicting children in gas masks echoes this bleakness and pessimism. The digipak physical release is nicely put together and is as professional as a digipak release can be assembled with a full booklet including lyrics and band photos. It is clear that the Sarmat trio of Daniel, Krzysztof, and Łukasz is serious about the project but Łukasz cites there is only one emotion that Sarmat is aiming at with their music. "Fear is the main emotion which I would like to be felt by every listener to the RS-28 album."