Thursday, July 22, 2021
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Pro Patria: Godless

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Artist: Pro Patria (@)
Title: Godless
Format: CD + Download
Label: Insane Records (@)
Distributor: Bandcamp
Rated: * * * * *
The Moscow-based Electro-/Industrial-label Insane Records currently expands enormously its label roster with some talents out of the scene. The old-school EBM project Pro Patria originally out of Belgium isn't at all a newcomer as they have been established already in 1988 by Peter Vercauteren and Bert Depuydt. First tape releases came up and the band evolved into their classic EBM style and released their first demo tapes from the beginning in 1991. “Spasmaticae” (1993), “Militaria” and a live-recording tape “Veni Vidi Vici” (1994) followed and their track “hard Times” became a tiny underground hit in some middle European clubs.

This duo signed in 1996 with the German label Celtic Circle Productions and recorded their first CD album “Quod Erat Demonstrandum” and the accompanying “Hard Times” EP. Unfortunately CCP called its quit and went off from business activities just before this album was announced for a release.All attempts to release “Quod Erat Demonstrandum” signed to any other label have failed and at least in 1998 Peter and Bert split due to artistic disagreements. Peter finally has taken care for all further musically responsibilities but unfortunately his personal situation had changed into bad conditions and altered any motivation.

Pro Patria became forgotten until 2007 when Peter was asked to participate to the legendary “Old School Electrology” 4CD box-set compilation brought to us by Electro Aggression Records.Too bad that this appearance couldn't remotivate Peter to pick up the line again and Pro Patria remained vanished. The reanimation of Pro Patria happened surprisingly 10 years later when Peter received an invitation to play at the “Familientreffen” EBM festival in Sandersleben / Germany where he shared the stage the stage among others with Leaether Strip.

This festival was a success and brought Peter back into his studio and he recorded the album “Back To Basics”, exactly 20 years after “Quod Erat Demonstrandum”.Returning to music for Peter meant also to look back on his darker, personal tales he has walked through. Meanwhile he has left Belgium and settled over to Italy, surely one remarkable result out of his crisis.So Pro Patria is back and after “Back To Basic” (2017), “Executioner” (2019), this project presents us with “Godless” the 4th album, if we don't count the early demo tape phase of this project to the album discography.

With the signing deal to the Russian Insane Records label, “Godless” is next to its availability in all digital formats, now world-wide available as a physical product, a CD. Not only this, all previously released albums can be at least downloaded via the Insane Records resources like Bandcamp.Somehow Peter and his production remains to follow on relatively comparable paths compared to the early-years recordings. Lyrically themes are still represented on “Godless” belong to the terrible state of our planet and the general disinterest or even unwillingness to do something about it. Typically EBM-related, don't you think?

There's also still a stimulating form of old-school EBM with torturous, raw pound sequencer basslines mostly offered in fast and furious speed. Please note that Pro Patria doesn't sound like your next-door-NEP-Anhalt-EBM-cloning-project, actually I tend to go that far to grant Peter a relatively own and authentic sounding form of EBM.What is new is the fact, that he has developed to reach a more aggressive, straight-in-your-face sounding outfit, the new tracks are definitely more drastically formulated musically and lyrically. That goes that far, that in combination with his angry shouts and the addition of some guitar-like sounds (“Angel”, “The End”) he can integrate a constant Punk-like attitude in his tracks.

Personally I miss here there a bit more musically depth and variation, some darker-minded layers and pads in combination with slower tune would add more diversity. Best tracks to me are the more accessible tracks like the already mentioned “Angel”, “The Power is Mine”, and “Limits to Madness”.Pro Patria offer all in all 14 very aggressive produced tracks and therefore an ideal soundtrack to sweat out your inner dissatisfaction. Be ready for the rage!

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