Review Summary: The first solo project from A Perfect Circle mastermind/multi-instrumentalist/composer Billy Howerdel.
Former Tool, Nine Inch Nails, etc. (the list goes on) guitar-tech and founding member of A Perfect Circle (alongside Tool’s Maynard James Keenan), multi-instrumentalist Billy Howerdel showcases his own musical vision with his solo project Ashes Divide. As a major driving force behind APC, Howerdel’s Keep Telling Myself Its Alright
sees remnants of his past outfit (still technically only on hiatus) in the general soundscape of the disc. This isn’t without good reason, as former A Perfect Circle band-mates Josh Freese (drums) and Paz Lechantin (has writing credits on several tracks, believed to have recorded bass for the album) contribute to Howerdel’s songs; Maynard’s son Devo also makes an appearance on the record, playing the cello. So far the young album has spawned the single The Stone
, and put out a video to support it. This isn’t the strongest track on the record, as something like Denial Waits
seems like a catchier exhibition.
It’s easy to pass judgement on the work here when compared to its predecessor band – this comes somewhat naturally considering the overall soundscape of the project. However, Howerdel was a major driving force behind APC, and a similar sound should be expected as a result. There is a sense when listening to the album that a more diverse sound could be achieved by the addition of actual band members, rather than Billy taking control of every aspect. Though the project doesn’t seem to have the force behind it that A Perfect Circle did, Billy’s solo work may yet live up to the commercial success of the former. Regardless, he’s been able to put forth his own work, and with it seemingly honest and whole-hearted approach.