Top 10 Polish Rock Bands by Rafał Szewczyk of the Polish Progressive Rock Band RSM

Today, Metalhead Community Team is putting a spotlight on the Polish rock music scene. We asked Rafał Szewczyk, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer of progressive rock project RSM, to share with us his Top 10 Polish Rock Bands, and we put them together for our readers to find out more about these influential bands.

I have discovered RSM, the solo project of Rafał Szewczyk about a month ago with their very special track; Awakening. Although RSM doesn’t have an official vocalist in the band, this song has an additional iconic rock vocalist, Kjetil Landsgard, who has significant credit for his vocals on this magnificent song. In my book, this is a timeless progressive rock song, as I believe nobody would get surprised if Awakening belonged to Porcupine Tree instead. Rafał Szewczyk immediately caught my full attention and I wanted to know him better for the community. So first, we published here a review of Awakening (strongly recommended read – just hit the link), interviewed him, and also asked him about his rock icons from his native country, Poland. Here’s Rafał Szewczyk’s Top 10 Polish rock bands list.

Click here for “RSM – No! (2021)” album pre-order

https://youtu.be/HSQzgGbWhVs

RSM – Awakening (Official Music Video) featuring Kjetil Landsgard

10 – Tides from Nebula

Tides of Nebula was formed in Warsaw in 2008, they are described with an instrumental post-metal style, and the fans of this genre have already shown their absolute approval of the music created by this band.

The members of Tides from Nebula are Maciej Karbowski who handles guitar and keyboards, Tomasz Stołowski on drums, and Przemek Węgłowski on bass. This band doesn’t have a vocalist, so it is easy to assume that what these guys create is instrumental rock.

This band has come as far as it is possible, so it is recognized not only in Poland but has also become popular in other regions of Europe and in Asia, places they chose to do one of their successful tours. Their live shows are a memorable experience not only because of their performances but also because of the visual concept of the shows as well as impressive audio production.

Their album From Voodoo to Zen brought them to the top of popularity, and many consider it an epic work. Despite lacking a vocalist, they have a great ability to convey diverse feelings and put listeners in context, the trio still keeps the band active.

Tides From Nebula – The New Delta || Live Sessions

9 – Riverside

Riverside was founded in Warsaw in 2001, and is another of those “young” bands that have become a reference in Polish rock music. Their style could be described as somewhere between progressive metal and progressive rock.

The members are Mariusz Duda as vocalist and bassist, Michał Łapaj as keyboardist, Piotr Kozieradzki on drums and Piotr Grudziński on guitars, who passed away back in 2016.

Since releasing their first album Out of Myself, the band began to gain ground in the Polish music scene, and gradually gained public recognition and scheduled national and international tours that have been quite successful. Their latest album is Wasteland, came out in 2018.

Riverside – Wasteland (Live Video)

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8 – Lao Che

Lao Che was founded in Poland in 1999 and has got 10 albums in their discography so far. This is another band in this list that does not have such a long trajectory as the ones mentioned above, but they have earned their place in the count for having gained followers thanks to their particular style – many different influences, strong and meaningful words, and unforgettable live performances. Almost every album had its own concept, was a little bit different in style and the story told. Although their alternative way of music, they became one of the major mainstream rock bands in Poland.

The members of the band are Hubert Dobaczewski (vocals, guitarist), Mariusz Denst (sampler), Michał Jastrzębski (drums), Rafał Borycki (bass), Filip Różański (keyboards) and Maciek Dzierżanowski (percussion).

The band is still active, but as they say in 2021 they are during their last tour.

Lao Che – Dym (official video)

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7 – Ocean

In 2001, in Wroclaw MaćkaWasio formed the group Ocean, which currently has 3 members, Piotr “Quentin” Wojtanowski on bass, Bolek Wilczek on drums, and Wasio on guitar and vocals. Since they released their first singles, they have gained great popularity in Poland, and have been received in the best way by the public. This earned them some nominations for various awards and musical recognition, which was growing little by little. 

The band was not necessarily the most popular, but it enters the count because their talent, professionalism, power during live shows was incredible as well as their ability to renew themselves each time.

In 2013, the group left their original name aside, changed it to OCNand joined Warner Music Group, where they would start with their first work in English, Waterfall (2014).

https://youtu.be/QDRC5RCtsMA

Ocean – Dzień Dobry

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6 – Human

In 1993, drummer Krzysztof Patocki, vocalist and keyboardist Kostek Joriadis, bassist Piotr Urbanek, and guitarist Maciej Gładysz, decided to form a hard rock band that they called Human.

During that year, the group released their first album called Earth, which contained the song “Polski” (“Polish”), which was a great success. The following year they released SŁONCE MOJE, which also became a hit that can be heard even today on Polish radio. They had a tour during this time, but since that time, they had no more activities. In the ‘90 the sound and music of the band was like a strong hit in everyone’s head. No one by this time has ever recorded and played music like this in Poland. After many years their debut and the only album still sounds fresh and amazing.

In 2013 the band decided to resume, but this time their lineup changed a bit, Marcin Pendowski would be on bass, Kamil Wyziński on guitar, Krzysztof Patocki on drums, Krzysztof Kurzepa also as a guitarist, and Kostek Yoriadis as a vocalist. This band always gets a great reception from the audience, as they have a solid stage presence and charisma.

Human – Jimi (Official Video)

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5 – O.N.A.

The Polish rock band O.N.A. was formed in 1994 and did not even reach a decade of existence. Nevertheless, from the very first moment, they have managed to captivate their audience, who became loyal fans of the band.

Guitarist Grzegorz Skawiński together with bassist Waldemar Tkaczyk formed the band, then included in the lineup Zbigniew Kraszewski as drummer, keyboardist Wojciech Horny, and an extraordinary singer Agnieszka Chylińska. This was the first band that somehow managed to connect all of the best parts from hard, heavy, and mainstream music still staying in their recognizable style.

In 2003 the band disbanded and all its members moved on to different musical projects, however, during its short existence, O.N.A. achieved great feats in the genre, managed to record 5 albums, and be the winners of several awards.

O.N.A. – To naprawde juz koniec

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4 – Voo Voo

Voo Voo was formed in 1985 and has become a legend due to an original style that blends varied influences, making them able to cover a wide range of musical genres. The initials of its founder W W, which are pronounced in Polish and spelled in English, give the origin of the band’s name.

The current members of Voo Voo are Wojciech Waglewski, as leader, founder, guitarist and vocalist, Mateusz Pospieszalski as multi-instrumentalist, Karim Martusewicz on bass and double bass, and Michał Bryndal as drummer. The band was always on a high level of professionalism in-studio and live, have collaborated with numerous artists including instrumentalists, vocalists, filmmakers, and many more. 

Since their beginnings and until today they have maintained their success, creating albums of great importance such as their self-titled, VOO VOO. They are one of the most important bands in Poland and are still active.

Voo Voo – Się poruszam 1 (Official video)

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3 – Oddział Zamknięty

If we talk about Polish rock legends, Oddział Zamknięty will always be on the list. Since its first formation in 1979, members have shown that with their musical ability and ease of expression they can easily win over the public. They are Krzysztof Jaryczewski and Wojciech Łuczaj-Pogorzelski, and started Oddział Zamknięty in Warsaw.

Oddział Zamknięty” (“Department closed”) was their first album, and they sold over 250,000 copies in just a few weeks. The hits kept coming over the years, positioning most of their songs in the top positions of the national charts. But Oddział Zamknięty was much more than just incredibly talented musicians, they also participated in charities to donate the proceeds. They were also known for their independence and rock&roll way of living.

The band had a number of changes in their lineup, in 1985 they had to look for another vocalist, as Jaryczewski, due to health problems his vocal cords were paralyzed so he left the band.

The current members are Paweł Oziabło on guitar, Wojciech Łuczaj-Pogorzelski also as guitarist, Maciej “Magic” Kudła on drums and Krzysztof Wałecki as vocalist. The band currently remain active.

Oddzial zamkniety – Twój kazdy krok

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2 – Republika

Republika is another legendary band born in Poland, originating in Torun in the early 1980s. The band was active from 1981 to 1986 and then resumed in 1990 until 2002. This band is considered one of the most influential Polish rock bands and the most interesting band of the new wave.

Republika consisted of vocalist Grzegorz CiechowskiSlawomir Ciesielski on drums, Leszek Biolik on bass, and Zbyszek Krzywanski on guitars. Since their debut, members proved that they had immense talent, so they managed to make their album Nowe Sytuacje become a classic. 

The leader of the band Grzegorz Ciechowski became one of the busiest producers in Poland, joined and helped many artists, and was very successful in his solo career. In 2001, Grzegorz Ciechowski passed away from a heart attack.

https://youtu.be/gHUDbpI8Ulk

Republika – Biała Flaga

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1 – SBB

The foundation of SBB dates back to the ’70s. The band was very successful and well known in Poland, its place of origin, and in other parts of Europe. The members of the band were: Józef Skrzek who became a well-known multi-instrumentalist and vocalist of the band; Apostolis Anthimos in the role of guitarist and Jerzy Piotrowski as the drummer of SBB. The band’s acronym referred to Silesian Blues Band and later changed to Szukaj, Burz, Buduj which translates to Search, Break up, Build.

They are considered as forerunners of progressive rock and also jazz-rock in the region, toured extensively in Europe, and in 1978 won the Golden Sea Swallow, but, despite the fame, the group broke up in 1980 and returned to their band activities when martial law in Poland was suspended.

As great musicians, they were (and still are) always focused on improvisation especially during live shows. Currently, the band is still active, its members are Józef SkrzekApostolis Anthimos, and Jerzy Piotrowski. SBB is simply one of the most iconic Polish rock bands in history.

SBB Live in 1979 – Going Away

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Please feel free to comment below your favorites, share opinions, give feedback and also provide more detailed information about the bands! Thanks for reading!

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Top 10 Polish Rock Bands by Rafał Szewczyk of the Polish Progressive Rock Band RSM