Grace Disgraced's Polina and Aleksandr Give to the Primal Cause

Death metal act Grace Disgraced was founded in 2004 since then they have experienced what any other band has which includes writing, recording, and releasing music, playing shows, touring, and repeating that never ending cycle. They have since released their second full-length album "The Primal Cause: Womanumental" that has been causing quite the buzz for them indeed. Frontwoman vocalist Polina Berezko and guitarist Aleksandr Klaptsov discuss this release and the plans for the future.

1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?

AK: Hello everyone, I'm Alexander Klaptsov guitarist and composer in the Grace Disgraced band and here with me is my newly formed wife, Polina Berezko - singer, frontwoman and main lyricist!

2. Can you give those of us who aren't familiar with Grace Disgraced a brief history of the band and can you please describe your sound for those who have yet to hear your music?

AK: GD was formed in 2004 and I became its member a bit later. In 2005 we recorded our demo “Natural Death” which was a real mixture of black, thrash and death metal. Then followed endless series of line-up and style changes, the sound was becoming heavier and by the year 2009 GD played death metal and recorded EP “Materialized Expectation”. The line-up stayed stable by 2011 and in 2012 our first LP album “Enthrallment Traced” was released and some reviewers and fans called it brutal technical death metal. And our second album “The Primal Cause: Womanumental” was released in April 2014.

PB: We consider our musical style as death metal. We all love classical death metal bands and still can feel the spirits of 80-90’s. I try to express my feelings with my music. Our lyrics are now quite typical for death metal because they are not focused on dismemberment and rotting corpses.

3. How did you manage to pull off having a band name using the word "grace" twice?

PB: What’s wrong with the name? Should we have been mocked to death because of the band name? We put a definite sense into it and we were not afraid to be unlike others.

4. What would you say are the bands biggest collective musical influences, and also individual ones that you feel can be heard in the record?

AK: That’s hard to say… I do not realize what influences me or not. Many people find some similarities with Death, but that band did not influence me as much as Manowar, Iron Maiden, Aria, Master (Russia). Plus, I was always a big fan of Sodom, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Suffocation. I am sure that all these bands somehow impacted my music, but I do not concentrate on something in particular, I just compose the music which goes right from my heart.

5. Could you take us through the writing process of Grace Disgraced? How does one of your epic songs come to be?

PB: I won’t tell you this secret! Actually, we always pay special attention to the lyrics - the ideas and the images we would like to express. That is why we work very thoroughly on the lyrics and, in common, the concept. When the first steps are ready we cooperate with Aleksandr, working in parallel on the lyrics and on the musical part. Moreover, we have got a preliminary plan for an album, where some basic features of each song are defined. And then the magic starts to action.

6. What does The Primal Cause: Womanumental mean to you all?

AK: As for me, that is a fantastic album! The conception is anachronic and grotesque, it could drown everyone in its abstract depths. We are attracted by fantastic stories, connected with the parallel worlds, cosmogonies, prehistoric times. That is what interests me since childhood! All in all, “The Primal Cause: Womanumental” is a really global work.

PB: I really love this album. That is our step forward in all senses, but I do not intend to rest on laurels.

7. How does the album art relate to the music on the album?

PB: That were Aleksandr and me who invented the ideas for album art. And thanks to Nick Keller, the ideas were implemented in the best possible way. On the main cover you could see a woman on an ancient monument holding a dying pterosaur on her knees. Well, that is our main heroine whose different incarnation we can meet in each composition from the album. She exists beyond time – the pterosaur and her futuristic ammunition proof it. She is the source and the consequence, the mother and the bringer of death…

8. Can you tell us how this album differs from the previous ones? What can we expect and what is the message behind it?

AK: I think the differs are significant and are only with the plus sign! We have grown up in the scope of musical style, widened the conception limits, enforced the monumentalism of our compositions. Each piece has been filled with new deep sense. More melodical and atmospheric lines appeared on the album and I started to play solos. The compositions became more touching and breathing. We are receiving many letters that our new album is not as brutal as the first one, but I think that was is just their first impression, because the songs are just no longer as linear as before. So I am very pleased with the album. If I had been told in my 19 years that I would be able to create something like that I would have laughed!

9. Do you have a favorite song off this album, if so, which and why?

AK: I cannot tell you which composition is the favorite one because of one wonderful feature of Grace Disgraced music: each composition is a whole life, a mental plan, a parallel universe. Each song is rich with emotions that an un-experienced listener could perceive it as an endless flow and the others say that they couldn't notice how the time goes while the music lasts. Most of all I enjoy listening to “Initial” (especially after having made the lyric-video for this composition). This thing has the craziest structure and there are practically no repeated pieces. And what I like to play most of all is “Venustus Caedes”. It is funny to watch how the listeners near the stage are going mad.

10. Do you think there is an element of the band’s sound that you would like to push out further on the next batch of songs? With so much going on in your sound, obviously there are elements that might get further explored?

AK: I have always loved readability and atmosphere. I like also technical and pure play. So I create the atmosphere by adding delay effect which you can hear everywhere in our music. Though, it doesn't add readability. My technique is far from ideal. Our main idea is to combine ugly, unsightly and heavy with beautiful, musical and exotic. This is the plain reflection of the band name and we intend to develop this conception further, adding more diversity, more unexpected moments, grotesque and disgusting figures and atmospheric melodism which would make our hearts squeeze.

11. What does the band have planned for the rest of this year?

AK: In the middle of August we will go to play at a Belorussian festival METAL CROWD 2014. Then, on 30 August, we’ll perform at the powerful gig FUCK&DESTROY FEST 2. And then we will have a small European tour which is called “Pterosaur’s Regenesis Tour 2014”. We will have 2 gigs in Poland, 2 – in Slovakia, 1 in the Czech Republic and 1 in Hungary. The dates are 16 – 21 September, so follow the news and don’t miss your chance to come to our gig.

PB: What is more we are working on our third album at the moment. Some material is already ready and the new conception is practically done.

12. Anything else you want to say to the fans?

PB: First of all I would like to say “Thank you” to those who support Grace Disgraced, to those metalheads and fans who understand that a metal band without their support is nothing. If you like a band, don’t be a lazy bone to come to its gig, to buy its album or merchandise or just to put a like on Facebook. I think that every musician and every metalhead will enjoy feeling himself a member of the metal brotherhood! So stay metal and stay together!

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