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Prog Folk • Poland

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Zywiolak biography
ZYWIOLAK are a modern Polish band whose music has been variously described as folk-metal, pagan folk, biometal and simply metal (although the predominant sounds come from percussion, hurdy-gurdy and vocals). The band is comprised of guitarist Robert Wasilewski (formerly of OPEN FOLK) and Robert Jaworski (ich troLe and the WARSAW VILLAGE BAND). The band's rhythm is largely provided by percussionist Maciej Labudzki with vocals augmented by Izebela Byra (GOSCIE Z NIZIN) and Anna Piotrowska (DETONACJA).

The group's music consists of heavily percussive and pulsating rhythms interwoven with the drone and whine of hurdy-gurdy and dark vocals evoking pagan rituals and native folk customs and traditions. Their debut studio album was released in 2008 following a pair of EP released shortly after the group formed in 2005. The sounds include ethnic Polish folk arrangements with notable metal nuances, as well as Celtic leanings. The band can be compared somewhat favorably to more Western acts such as BLUEHORSES.

>>Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth)<<

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ZYWIOLAK discography

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ZYWIOLAK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 4 ratings
Nowa ex-tradycja
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nowa Mix-Tradycja
3.67 | 3 ratings
Globalna Wiocha
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pieśni půł/nocy
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wendzki sznyt

ZYWIOLAK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ZYWIOLAK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.10 | 2 ratings
4.00 | 2 ratings
Muzyka psychodelicznej Świtezianki
4.00 | 1 ratings
Muzyka psychoaktywnego Stolema


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nowa ex-tradycja by ZYWIOLAK album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.92 | 4 ratings

Nowa ex-tradycja
Zywiolak Prog Folk

Review by Koper

4 stars Highly recommended! This extremely original group from Poland, plays specific complex music based on deconstructed themes from Polish and Ukrainian ethnic music. It is not simple prog-folk-rock but rather Avant-Ethnic-Progressive rock. Music is eclectic, and difficult to classify. It seems not to be easy-to-listen by ordinary folk-fan, but is also intriguing and attractive. There are a lot of strange sounds, trance rhythms, archaic home-made instruments and lyrics (in Polish and Ukrainian) deeply submerged in sex and slavic mythology (witches and demons) completed with metal guitar sound, partially agressive and partially smooth female vocals, and even something like socio-political, poetic rap ("Zywiolak"). Group members propose the humorous term "polska muzyka neo-ludowa"("Polish neo-folk music") as a good denomination of their music. In my opinion, weaker point is vocal-style, which sometimes impedes the understanding sophisticated lyrics - of course it is a problem only for Polish-speakers. It is easy to recognize by perceptive listener the musical kinship with other, highly recommended polish ethno-progressive band "Kapela ze wsi Warszawa" - song "Femina" is just an rearranged version of the song known from one of its album with different lyrics. Four stars.
 Żywiołak by ZYWIOLAK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
2.10 | 2 ratings

Zywiolak Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars I have to admit to not knowing much of anything about this band, except to note that they clearly qualify as a neofolk group with pagan leanings and lots of drone in their music (hurdy-gurdy of course, that magical drone-in-a-box instrument for any group that wants to add a heavy, brooding whine to their music). The fact they come from Poland is a bit surprising, at least it is to me considering most of the darker neofolk bands I know of either come from Germany, northern UK areas of some parts of the eastern U.S.

This is their debut EP, more of a promo record really with only four songs that are all quite similar. The basic recipe is plenty of hurdy-gurdy out front, a persistent and usually syncopated metallic drumbeat, synthesized background industrial sounds and flat, almost monotonous female vocals. At first blush the sound is kind of interesting, not because there’s anything new or original in the individuals parts, but because they are packaged in a way that grabs your attention the first time you hear them. I have to admit I was somewhat enchanted the first time I played the opening “Dybuk”.

But after a few songs nearly identical the novelty begins to wear, and by the time the last track “Femina” plays out I’ve already begun to tire of it. The band has since released a full- length studio album which I have but haven’t played in its entirety yet. I know there are some slower, more ambient numbers (relatively-speaking) on that record. Perhaps I’ll find the band has more to offer when I get around to spending some time with the 2008 release ‘Nowa ex-tradycja’, but as far as this EP goes I have to say it doesn’t rate much higher than two stars. That isn’t necessarily a reflection on the band though, so don’t be dissuaded from exploring their later work. Don’t spend too much time looking for this one though; I’d recommend checking them out on mySpace and youTube before investing in any records though, just to make sure their sound is something you’re interested in.


 Muzyka psychodelicznej Świtezianki by ZYWIOLAK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
4.00 | 2 ratings

Muzyka psychodelicznej Świtezianki
Zywiolak Prog Folk

Review by Neurotarkus

4 stars 4.5 stars really. This album can best be described as pagan folk metal, though it doesn't sound much like anything I've ever heard- the closest I could come was Magma, because of the chanting and- to American ears- a strange language. All of the elements of Zywiolak's sound combine very nicely together- thundering tribal drums, metal-sounding guitars, and generous amounts of Polish folk music and violin. However, what truly makes this is the vocals- the excellently done female vocals, combined with growling, aggressive male vocals, lifts the mind into a different state, like being at a pagan ritual. In general, this is a superb album, recommended to fans of folk metal and pagan music.
Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition. and to Tuzvihar for the last updates

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