Belgian-origin Pro Patria was founded in 1988 by keyboard virtuoso Peter V. (aka PVC) and quickly evolved into a dark EBM style. A first studio album, “Spasmaticae”, was released on cassette tape in 1993, followed by five-track “Militaria” in 1994 and a live tape “Veni Vidi Vici” one year later. In 1996, Pro Patria signed with German Celtic Circle Records and out of this collaboration arose the full CD “Quod Erat Demonstrandum” and the ensuing “Hard Times” maxi. The album, skilfully produced by Marc Schellekens, became a compilation of almost ten years of Pro Patria during which the band had developed its own, distinctive sound, characterised by complex layers and a myriad of different voices. The lyrics advocated a healthy mind, a strong aversion towards fascism and criticised religion. Unfortunately, C.C. faced bankruptcy when the CDs were about to be released and Pro Patria remained empty-handed. Attempts to have “Quod Erat Demonstrandum” released through other labels failed because the music was either deemed not dark enough or not techno enough. In the meantime, Peter’s personal situation had changed much for the worse, undermining his motivation, and Pro Patria became forgotten.
In 2017, whilst assuming that Pro Patria had long been dead and buried, Peter was surprised to receive an invitation to play at the Familientreffen EBM festival near Leipzig, Germany. The concert was a success and being again surrounded by people who believed in Pro Patria, Peter dived back into the studio to produce a new album “Back to Basics”, exactly 20 years after “Quod Erat Demonstrandum”. The challenge was none of the least after such a long inactivity. For this reason Peter went back to his roots (“Back to Basics”), to the era in which he had developed the real Pro Patria sound and he wondered how Pro Patria would have evolved if the band had continued to exist over the last 20 years. Building on the same, somewhat bombastic concept, the sound became harsher, more direct. Even though the old themes were still present, concern about the environment, overpopulation and a world dominated by social media also set the tone. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, “Back to Basics” became a much more personal album, largely inspired by the extremely dark period Peter had to go through.
One year later Pro Patria played live i.a. at the famous W-Festival in Amougies, Belgium. For the occasion, Peter received back-up from SebMer BlondWülf (Wülf 7 – keys) and Jérémie Venganza (Super Dragon Punch!! – percussion), which added significantly more power to the performance. The band was thrilled to receive a lot of positive feedback.
Encouraged by their increasing success, Pro Patria released a new album in September 2019 called “Executioner”, intended to bridge the gap between Quod Erat Demonstrandum and Back to Basics. It turned out to be much more than that. Not just more mature, but almost encyclopedical, compiling various Electro/EBM trends of the last 35 years in one album whilst maintaining and even expanding the typical Pro Patria sound.
Only a few months after “Executioner” was released, Pro Patria commenced work on yet another album named “Godless”, which was released early 2021 and which received very high acclaim. It became the band’s hardest and loudest album to date, or as Peter put it: “There are many things that are going wrong with our planet and since nobody seems to listen I feel compelled to shout a bit louder.”
In February 2021, Pro Patria signed with the renowned Dark/Electro label Insane records , which released the “Godless” album as a luxury six-page digipack with pit art technology.
In the meantime, Pro Patria is creating yet another album… completely acoustic this time, which will be called “Naked EBM”. It has always been Peter V’s dream to make piano and voice only versions of the most popular Pro Patria tracks and “Naked EBM” has therefore become a project where he can completely unleash his musical creativity without any constraint. Just music in its purest form.
In April 2022, however, when finalising their fifth full album in four year’s time, Pro Patria decided to leave Insane Records because the latter was forcing a political stance upon them. The new album “Piercing Through the Armour” was eventually published digitally in autumn 2022 in a slightly unfinished state.
After 6 Pro Patria albums, all of them offering a completely different approach to EBM, Peter V decided to take a different road and started working on a new and ambitious project, about which he’ll inform his audience in due time.