The 13 Polish Metal Bands You Should Know

Poland boasts a rich history of Black Metal bands, and it’s arguable that the country hosts some of the most innovative and original Black Metal music in Europe. 

During the early years of Black Metal, two distinct factions emerged: the Slavic Pagans and the National Socialists, with bands like Graveland representing the latter. After some tumultuous times, marked by church burnings and controversies, the scene settled down

However, my appreciation for Polish Metal goes beyond the confines of Black/Death Metal, prompting me to refrain from limiting this list solely to those subgenres.

Poland has a diverse array of outstanding Metal bands, recognized internationally across various genres. While this list of 13 bands is by no means exhaustive, it serves as a starting point, featuring groups I frequently enjoy in the Metal scene.

The possibility of a future installment, “Return of the Polish Metal Bands You Should Know – Episode VI,” remains open. Suggestions for bands to include in future articles are welcome in the comments or by direct contact.


Originating from Warsaw in 1990, Hate stands as one of the pioneers in the Polish metal scene. Despite numerous lineup changes, the band has consistently delivered powerful music. “Awakening the Liar” (2003) is internationally recognized as a masterpiece in Polish death metal.

Their latest offering, “Auric Gates of Veles” released in June 2019, showcases a Blackened Death Metal style with heavy riffs and deep vocals.

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Formed in 1983 and hailing from Warsaw, Vader is an iconic figure in the Polish metal landscape. Starting as a Heavy/Speed Metal outfit, they evolved into Death Metal with their first demo, “Live in Decay” in 1986. Winning a Fryderyk Award for Heavy Metal Album of the Year with “Welcome to the Morbid Reich” in 2012 solidified their place in the genre.

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Rusted Brain

Emerging from Warsaw in 2009, Rusted Brain is a Thrash Metal band that caught my attention during a live performance at B90. Their long-awaited second LP, “Deceiver” released last December, cements their position in the Polish metal scene.

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Obscure Sphinx

Formed in Warsaw in 2008, Obscure Sphinx is a captivating band, especially during live performances where the hypnotic presence of singer Zofia Fraś shines.

Their music, a complex blend of Post-Metal with influences from Doom Metal, Post-Rock, and Progressive Metal, has evolved through albums like “Anaesthetic Inhalation Ritual” (2011) and “Epitaphs” (2016).

They are actually working on their next album.

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Formed in 1993 in Sosnowiec, that’s a band that turned from Hardcore to Thrash & Death Metal and are now the most eminent representative of Deathcore in Poland.

They won a Fryderyk Award in 2003 for “I Odpuść Nam Nasze Winy“.

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This band is really something to see live. There is a whole staging in place largely inspired by the Eastern Orthodox Church. They exclusively sing in old church slavonic language and wear traditional eastern orthodox clothes.

They have a complicated history (it’s still going on), and it’s not the place to write about it as you can find it anywhere else. They were founded in 2015 in Białystok.

There is now 2 versions of Batushka. One endorsed by the music label, and another one run by the sole creator of the band, Krzysztof Drabikowski who just released an album, “Панихида“, that proves that he was and still is the musical driving force of the band.

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My favorite Polish Metal band. And always an immense pleasure to see them live.

Formed in Krosno in 1996, Decapitated has become a powerhouse in the Technical Death Metal genre. Known for their intense live performances, their music is widely regarded as some of the best in the genre. With a solid reputation worldwide, Decapitated continues to be a force in the global metal scene.

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Acid Drinkers

Another old formation in the Thrash/Metal Polish musical landscape. They were founded in 1986 in Poznan by Tomasz Pukacki and Robert Friedrich. After several changes of lineup, only Pukacki remains. Their style is mainly Thrash Metal but with influences of Heavy Metal & Hardcore Punk.

Acid Drinkers were awarded four times with a Fryderyk in the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal category in 1998, 2000, 2004, 2009 and are certainly the best Thrash Metal band in Poland.

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Do I have to present them? Surely THE best band coming from Poland. An explosive mix of Black & Death Metal with genuine religious provocation.

They also played an important role in establishing and developing the Polish extreme Metal musical scene.

They were formed in 1991 in Gdańsk by Nergal, Baal & Desecrator. From the start, Nergal was the leader of the band, the composer and author of most of their songs.

Their album “The Satanist” became their first album to enter the Top 40 of the American album chart.

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Founded in 2008 in Kielce, Belzebong unleashed their debut album “Scapes & Weedy Grooves” in 2011. You don’t have to be a soothsayer to realize that funny herbs and music only make one with Belzebong.

They play a heavy Stone & Doom Metal. Which is not really the kind of music you spend jumping everywhere. It’s more of a sitting-down-kinda-hobby.

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Formed in 2010 by Zyklon, Warcrimer and Priest, they play an infernal blend of Black, Thrash and Death Metal.

They released their debut album “Wrathprayers” in 2011, followed by “Working Class Misanthropy” in 2013 and “Dark Days of the Soul” in 2018.

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I had to really ask myself if I should write about this band. Because they are clearly in the National Socialism Black Metal scene. The ideas of the leader is on the far right but he has stated that Graveland is not related to any kind of political ideologies. And they never used any nazi references in their lyrics.

They started as a Black Metal band to then move into the Pagan & Viking Metal style.

Graveland was founded in 1992 by Rob Darken. With Behemoth, Graveland participated in the expansion and explosion of the Polish Black Metal musical scene.

Amazingly, they played their first ever concert in April 2016 in Italy.

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They were formed in 2000 by Mikołaj Żentara and only played their first concert 12 years later. They were a studio project at first and beside the leader Mikołaj and official drummer Maciej Kowalski, several guests musicians join them on stage.

They play a Melodic Black Metal that has stormed the world recently. Just listen to their last 2 albums, “Exercice in Futility” & “Age of Excuse“, and you will hear why they are one of Poland best Metal band nowadays.

Like Graveland, they have some ties with the NSBM mouvement.

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