Żywiołak: Pagan Rock from Poland with a Modern Mindset

Żywiołak, initially formed in Warsaw in 2005, is a Polish folk rock band steeped in mythos. Its name references the Elemental, a magical being said to harness the power of nature in the form of air, fire, water, or earth. Their lyrics sing of epic battles (in Wojownik, or Warrior) and explore the traditions of […]


Armia is a popular Polish punk band that also incorporates elements of hard-core, gothic rock, reggae metal, symphonic rock, and jazz into their style. It’s been an important band for the Polish scene since the 1980s, and vocalist Thomas Budzyński has been the main consistent member since that time. Always holding a controversial place in the Polish alternative […]


Turbo is one of Poland’s most important metal bands. The band was formed in Poznań in 1980 by Henryk Tomczak, formerly of the pioneering Polish hard rock bands Stress and Heam. Turbo’s album Satan’s Cavalry (Kawaleria Szatana, 1986) is considered something of a magnum opus of Polish heavy metal. Turbo’s intial lineup consisted of Tomczak […]


2Tm2,3 (also known as Tymoteusz) is a Polish Christian metal band. Their name refers to the Bible, verse 2 of Timothy 2:3 (“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”). The band is made up of members of various top Polish heavy metal and alternative rock bands, including Acid Drinkers, Flapjack, Armia, […]


Luxtorpeda is a newly minted Polish rock band consisting of many veterans of Poland’s music scene. Hailing from Poznań, Luxtorpeda consists of Robert Drężek, Krzysztof Kmiecik, Tomasz Krzyżaniak, Przemysław Frencel, and Robert Friedrich (who was also the guitarist for Turbo, Kazik Na Żywo, Acid Drinkers, 2Tm2,3, and Arka Noego). The group has won a number of […]


TSA (short for Tajne Stowarzyszenie Abstynentów, or “secret society of abstainers”) is a Polish rock band regarded as precursors of heavy metal in Poland. The band was founded by guitarist Andrzej Nowak and bassist Tomasz “Whatfora” Zatwarnicki. While the band was founded in 1979, it has only been active during distinct periods since—1979 to 1989, […]

Bad Dogs / Złe Psy

Bad Dogs (Złe Psy) is a Polish rock band that’s been around since 1999. The name apparently refers to American pit bulls, for which Andrzej Nowak, its founder, has a certain fondness. Nowak also sings vocals and plays guitar in the band TSA. TSA, Nowak’s first major project, is a hard rock/heavy metal band that […]

Paragraf 64

Traveling throughout Poland now is a group of musicians who come from a rather unusual background. The band, Paragraf 64, is comprised entirely of current prison inmates that combine metal with hip-hop. They are part of a service program aimed to rehabilitate prisoners through community service. I had the opportunity to see this band perform […]