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Angels of Clarity
Angels10.jpg

Type

Song

Songwriter

Pontus Hjelm & Jimmie Strimell

Album(s)

Length

3:41

Studio vocalist

Jimmie Strimell

First known performance

Uknown

Last known performance

TBA

Angels of Clarity is a track by Dead by April on their eponymous debut album. It was written by Pontus Hjelm and Jimmie Strimell

Song information

Angels of Clarity is one of the very earliest Dead by April songs written. It dates all the way back to early 2007 and is the second song ever written for the Dead by April project, only Lost was before. Out of all written material it's one of the heaviest Dead by April songs with a fast blast beast and can only be compared to Lost, Same Star and Empathy

It is also noteworthy for being the only song on the debut album that has an actual guitar riff. During Johan Olssons time in Dead by April he often mentioned Angels of Clarity as one of his favorite songs, both on record and playing live. The fact that it contained a guitar riff made it his highlight of the show.

Slipknot's percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan liked Angels of Clarity so much ta he decided to make a remix of the song during the summer of 2009. According to Pontus:

"It's so big that it almost impossible to grasp. We've been listening to Slipknot since their first album. Slipknot and we played at the same festival twice this summer. Clown liked the song and wanted to meet us backstage, but due to time constraints it didn't happen. But their company contacted us and asked if he could do the remix and we naturally answered yes." [1]

Single

Angels of Clarity was released as the third single of the debut album, only 9 days after What Can I Say was released. The single was only released digitally in the UK to coincide with Dead by April's first UK Tour in September 2009.  However it failed to chart. [2]

Acoustic versions of Promise Me and Losing You, as well as Shawn "Clown" Crahans remix of Angels of Clarity was B-sides on the single release. This is the only release to feature the acoustic version of Promise Me sung by Pontus and acoustic Losing You sung by Jimmie and Pontus. 

TRACKLIST

1. Angels of Clarity Pontus Hjelm/Jimmie Strimell 3:43
2. Angels of Clarity (Remix) Pontus Hjelm/Jimmie Strimell 4:40
3. Losing You (Acoustic) Pontus Hjelm/Jimmie Strimell 3:41
4. Promise Me (Acoustic) Pontus Hjelm 3:10

Video

On September 28, 2009, Dead by April released Angels of Clarity as their second video. The video was directed by Jakob Arevärn and was considerably more low-budget than the Losing You video. The video shows the band playing in a natural environment with both Jimmie and Pontus singing the chorus together. 

A funny detail is that Jacob Arevärn two years later directed Jimmie Strimell's other band Death Destruction's video for the song Mark My Words.

To the left are behind the scenes photos from the shooting of the Angels of Clarity video. [3]

Different versions

There are 4 different recordings of Angels of Clarity. Below you will be guided through them.

Version 1 - Angels of Clarity Demo (2007)

Given that Angels of Clarity was one of Dead by April's earliest songs, it's almost certain that the demo version was recorded in 2007. It's hard to say, but it's possible that Henrik Carlsson plays bass on the recording. Overall the demo sounds almost the same as the album version, but there are some differences.

  • There's a short guitar harmony during man riff. (0.06, 1.12)
  •  There's a noise filter on "I'm finished" during the bridges. (0.32-0.35, 1.31-1.34)
  • There's an extra guitar riff right before verse 2. (1.15)
  • There's an extra scream added during "is this my destiny" in verse 2. (1.23-1.26)
  • The rhythm is a little bit different during the outro. Here's a couple of double strokes which are not on the album. (3.12-3.40)

Version 2 - Angels of Clarity Album Version (2009)

  • Everything mentioned above disappeared for the album recording and made ​​the song a bit more well arranged.

Parts of Alexander Svenningson recording drums for Angels of Clarity

Version 3 - Angels of Clarity Shawn "Clown" Crahan Remix (2009)

Shawn Crahan's version of Angels of Clarity was a completely new song which lasted 57 second longer than the album version. Crahan was undoubtedly given complete freedom and created something new and exciting, even if the result itself wasn't very exciting. 

Version 4 - Angels of Clarity Heavier Mix (2011)

Besides that there is more reverb on the instruments (mainly drums & guitars) and some vocal harmonies a bit higher in volume there are barely any differences from this and the album version.

  • The intro scream is a bit higher in volume.
  • At the end there's an extra scream added. (3.14-3.15)

Live performance

Angels of Clarity has been untouchable in Dead by April's live sets over the years.

Angels of Clarity is one of the few songs from the first record that has been played constantly since its release. From 2009-2011 it was often played back to back with Trapped at the beggining of the show. During more recent days the song has been moved in towards the middle of the set.

Vocal performances

Angels of Clarity has been sung/screamed live by all four Dead by April singers, Pontus, Jimmie, Zandro and Stoffe. Although Jimmie sings/screams on the studio version of the song he stopped singing clean vocals in the song during May 2009. 

During the years the song has gone through a couple of vocal duty changes. Below are the changes in chronological order alongwith snippets.


1. Jimmie - 2008 - May 2009

It's unclear exactly when Angels of Clarity was played live for the first time, but during entire 2008 up until early May 2009 Jimmie sang all the clean vocals in the chorus, with Johan doing the screams. The bridge was performed with screams and no clean vocals. 

- Projekt Festival, Osby, Sweden, May 9, 2008

2. Jimmie/Pontus - May - June 2009 

Just in time for the release shows for their debut album in mid-May, Pontus began taking over the clean vocals in the choruses. Notably, Pontus here sings the high notes in the chorus. This arrangement lasted less than a month, very rare!

- Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland, May 26, 2009

3. Jimmie/Pontus - June 2009 - March 2010

In June 209, Dead by April finally found an arrangement they felt comfortable with. Pontus continued to sing the choruses, but now in a lower harmony. This version of the song lasted until Pontus left the band in early 2010.

- Metaltown, Gothenburg, Sweden, June 26, 2009

4. Jimmie/Zandro - March 2010 - December 2012

When Zandro joined the band, he finally sang the chorus in its original harmony and also sang the bridge live for the first time.

- Dreamhack, Jönköping, Sweden, November 25, 2011

5. Stoffe/Zandro - March 2013 - 

After Stoffe joined the band he naturally took over the scream vocals.

- Den Atilier, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, March 13, 2014

Sources

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