Peste Noire - Biography

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Peste Noire was born in the mind of one La sale Famine de Valfunde who wrote all songs (except one), solos, lyrics, concepts for Peste Noire since its creation. The other members aren't/have never been involved in the song-writing process but are/were always used as session musicians (Neige included) playing the music written by Famine. The different artworks were also chosen by and built around the ideas of one La sale Famine de Valfunde.

Famine started Peste Noire alone in 2000. As he wasn't able to play drums and refused to use a drum machine, Famine quickly felt the need to find a session drummer for his newly founded one-man band. At the time, Famine was helped by a young musician who called himself Neige (French word for "snow") who agreed to be a session drummer only on Peste Noire's demos. Famine declared: " When PN began, I had no drummer. Neige was there and I hired him just like I would have hired any other decent drummer to EXECUTE Black Metal. Neige never had any influence on my music in the slightest way possible; I write everything and I tell people what they must do over MY riffs. This was exactly what happened with Neige, ask him!" Argoth, a session bass player, also helped up to the 2002 "Macabre Transcendance" demo. Famine (then known as Aegnor/Feu Cruel) would also be the lead guitarist on Neige's Alcest's first demo tape "Tristesse Hivernale" released on 2001 through Drakkar Productions in which Famine wrote the main riff of the song "La Forêt de Cristal". Peste Noire released three demos called "Aryan Supremacy" (2001), "Macabre Transcendance" (2002) and "Phalènes and Pestilence - Salvatrice averse" (2003) and one split demo tape with Sombre Chemin in their first three years of existence. All demos were copied one by one on audio cassettes, the traditional media for demos in the black metal genre.

In 2005, Famine hired new members Winterhalter (drums) and Indria (bass) for them to play on Peste Noire's first studio album and to expand Famine's music. They completed what Famine began to call "Kommando Peste Noire". At the time, Famine had fired Neige from the band and P.N. was a three-piece band (Famine, Winterhalter, Indria) when the debut album La Sanie des siècles - Panégyrique de la dégénérescence was recorded and produced in August 2006 by French label De profundis éditions to much critical acclaim from both fans and press. A vinyl version co-produced by De profundis éditions and Finnish label Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions was released in August 2009. La Sanie des siècles is basically a compilation of the demo tracks previously written/recorded by Famine on his own equipment re-recorded in Rosenkrantz studio (Abigail, Celestia, Mortifera). Rather unusual for the black metal scene, the album was laden with guitar solos and featured a pipe organ on some tracks. Neige came as a guest at the end of the recording sessions and made a vocal feature on "Dueil Angoisseus" (studio version). "Nous sommes fanés" (the introduction track) and "Des médecins malades et des saints séquestrés", the bonus track on the album, were old demo tracks and it featured Famine (guitars, bass guitar, vocals) and Neige (session drums). Despite what several labels claim in order to sell Peste Noire to the masses, Neige doesn't play guitar, bass or drums on La Sanie des siècles - Panégyrique de la dégénérescence and Famine put things straight when he stated: "The most absurd idea spread by idiots is that La Sanie des siècles is better because Neige was more involved in its recording and production, yet the fact is that the album was recorded without Neige, in 2005, when I had kicked him out of the band. [...] To claim that Neige is an important figure in PN is the same as saying that the person who plays the triangle in SOPOR AETERNUS AND THE ENSEMBLE OF SHADOWS is the main man in SOPOR", he added.

On April 2007, the Finnish label Northern Heritage would release the "Lorraine Rehearsal" 10' EP featuring four "rehearsal" songs recorded in Lorraine from August 2006 and the second version (20 minutes 10 s. long) of the track "Phalènes Et Pestilence", composed by Famine in 2005 and recorded on his own recording equipment. (A tape version of the "Lorraine Rehearsal" was also released on Roman Saenko (Hate Forest, Drudkh)'s label Night Birds Records. It was limited to 300 hand-numbered copies). For the first time P.N. became a four-piece band (still with Winterhalter (drums) and Indria (bass), and Neige (second guitar on the "Lorraine Rehearsal") being reintegrated) fit for concerts. On June 3, 2007, Peste Noire played their first concert in Toulouse, France.

De profundis éditions produced Peste Noire's second album Folkfuck Folie released in June 2007. Folkfuck Folie features studio versions of the four "rehearsal" tracks from the "Lorraine Rehearsal". This album mainly deals with apocalyptic themes, the spreading of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, or mental disorder which is symbolized by the radio sample of the demented poet Antonin Artaud used as an introduction to the track "Folkfuck Folie". Famine ironically says that his goal was "to create the ugliest and most irritating sound possible, in order make the album unlistenable after having heard two songs. You have to be mentally unstable to go through the entire album" he added. While Neige's input on La Sanie des siècles - Panégyrique de la dégénérescence was non-existent, on Folkfuck Folie he composed for the first and last time a track for Peste Noire: the thrashy oddity "La Césarienne", the lyrics of which are a poem written by Famine. Neige "never once played a single guitar riff except those on "La Césarienne", which was the only song he ever wrote for PN and will ever have written" Famine stated. By the way, in the studio sessions, Neige only played the second guitar on this track and he doesn't play any other guitar part on Folkfuck Folie. Famine, who wrote all the other tracks on Folkfuck Folie remains the mastermind and exclusive composer behind Peste Noire's music and in 2006 he stated in British magazine Zero Tolerance "The only things I will never share are the concept and the surrounding universe (musical, aesthetic and textual), which have grown and matured in my brain only"

Also released in 2007 was a self-released double protape box Mors orbis terrarum containing all Peste Noire's demo tracks from the sold out demo tapes, and also a split with Finnish black metal band Horna which contained the new track "Paysage Mauvais".
Mors orbis terrarum was re-released as vinyl by Debemur Morti Productions in September 2008 (it includes all the demos featured on the tape box, except the very raw "Aryan supremacy" demo and the second demo version of "Phalènes et pestilence" which was on the B side of the "Lorraine Rehearsal" vinyl released by Northern Heritage in 2007). La Sanie des siècles - Panégyrique de la dégénérescence, their sold out 2006 first album has been re-released by De profundis éditions and Transcendental Creations as cd in August 2008

In addition to their first concert in Toulouse on June 3, 2007, they also played concerts in Lyon on June 23, 2007 and Bordeaux on December 16, 2007 with Mayhem. On January 19, 2008, Peste Noire played a concert in Oslo, Norway (at Betong) and one in Boismont on July 18, 2008. In August 2008, they also made a 13-date tour called "Les Treizes Nuits de la Peste" with Akitsa in Quebec, the French-speaking part of Canada, known as New France prior to the conquest of the area by the English during the Seven Years War. The band refused to play in the USA. It was the first time a French metal band had ever toured Quebec.

In March 2009, De profundis éditions released Peste Noire's third album Ballade cuntre lo Anemi francor (Ballad against the enemies of France) with a new line-up Famine had chosen consisting of a new drummer (A. from (Darvulia)) and a new bass player (Ragondin) replacing Neige, Winterhalter and Indria. This album, whose main theme is based on the nostalgia for medieval France, is soundwise reminiscent of P.N. demos but the style evolved to a mix of Black Metal, rockish, hard rock rhythms, piano / Hammond organ interludes by Sainte Audrey-Yolande de la Molteverge and acoustic guitars with even more of a medieval appeal. Unlike the previous two albums which had been recorded in the Rosenkrantz studios, the music of the Black Metal tracks of Ballade cuntre lo Anemi francor were recorded by Famine on his own recording equipment like Peste Noire's demos.

A tape version of Ballade cuntre lo Anemi francor was released in March 2009 anonymously. It was distributed by the label Tour de Garde from Quebec. Another tape version meant for Eastern Europe was also released on Roman Saenko (Hate Forest, Drudkh)'s label Night Birds Records.