Ashes Divide
Keep Telling Myself It's Alright



by CoreySzn USER (26 Reviews)
August 21st, 2008 | 13 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is what you would expect from Mr. Howerdell. A very solid album but still a few holes to fill before they become a real contender.

A lot of people are curious to hear Billy Howerdell's new side project, ASHES dIVIDE. As the brainchild the band A Perfect Circle, he was the mastermind behind their incredible debut, Mer De Noms and the very solid follow-up album, Thirteenth Step. I'm probably not the only one who was a bit skeptical about the band before listening to them. The absence of Maynard James Keenan's vocals is a big hole to fill for Mr. Howerdell as his powerful vocals and lyrics were a big part of A Perfect Circle. However, I had a feeling that ASHES dIVIDE's debut album, Keep Telling Myself It's Alright would be decent at best least since Howerdell was the founder and core member of A Perfect Circle.

Howerdell handles all of the vocal, guitar, bass and keyboard duties as well as being the album's primary songwriter. He also recruited vetran, Josh Freese to play drums on the album. Howerdell's voice is surpisingly great. It's very soothing, but strong and can be aggressive at times which blends perfectly in with the band's style. The band's style can be described as atmostpheric rock at best, every track manages to build a dark atmosphere for the listener. A good amount of the songs are either driven by piano or a slow vibe. Most of the piano-driven songs are some of the strongest on the album. ("Too Late," "The Stone")

It also seems that Mr. Howerdell is trying to create something completely different from A Perfect Circle. It's his chance to step out of Maynard James Keenan's shadow and create something new of his own. While a couple songs ("Denial Waits," "Stripped Away") sound a bit similar to APC, this is something new and different from Mr. Howerdell's former band.

The album's opener, "Stripped Away" gives you a bit of what to expect with ASHES dIVIDE. It features a dark but powerful melody and has a very nice piano lead in the verses. "Denial Waits" is like it's proceder but it's a lot more aggressive, especially it's chorus. Then comes the slower, ambient songs like "Forever Can Be" and "Defamed." Some of these songs are great but a few are a bit redundant. The main two being the pair of "A Wish" and "Ritual." Both songs are very atmospheric, dark and the latter sounds nearly like an interlude into "The Stone," which is one of my favorites from the album. "The Stone" is what I was expecting from ASHES dIVIDE. It has a slow but powerful melody, a great chorus and some nice guitarwork as well. It is followed by "Higher" which is one of the faster songs on this album, it's a bit more upbeat and a nice change of pace. The album closes on a very solemn and dark note with "Sword." It has a great buildup with piano and strings until Howerdell's vocals kick in, when it turns into a solemn but excellent closing track.

I can definitely say that I am a bit impressed with this album. I would have liked a few more heavier songs but the darker, ambient songs work just as well for me. The album also reminded me of Wes Borland's solo project, Black Light Burns. Not exactly the same type of music but it's the same idea. A multi-instrumentalist who has worked with many bands branching out and finally doing his own thing. It works in some cases and doesn't in others, but it definitely works for ASHES dIVIDE.

Key Tracks: Denial Waits, The Stone, Sword, Forever Can Be

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user ratings (232)
other reviews of this album
Mongi123 CONTRIBUTOR (3)
An inconsistent but very solid solo debut for Billy Howerdel....

CrazyFool84 (3)
The first solo project from A Perfect Circle mastermind/multi-instrumentalist/composer Billy Howerde...

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 21st 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

I did a review for this a while back but then I lost it in the crash. I do disagree, however, about the band being completely different from APC. It is a nice effort by Billy Howerdell, but not near as strong as APC was. My favorite song on the album would have to be "Forever Can Be". "The Stone" and "Sword" are great as well. I also felt that the album was a bit too short being only about 40 minutes long. I think I will change my rating from a 4 down to 3.5.

August 21st 2008


I actually liked this album more than APC's follow up. I love how ambient this gets.

August 21st 2008


I liked the first 2 tracks and The Stone, but not much else did anything for me. Good review.

August 21st 2008


boring album

August 27th 2008


I might pick this up, as your review has brewed an ice cold frosty beverage of interest in my tiny brain.

October 9th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

good cd

November 28th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

I am thoroughly enjoying this at the moment, spreading your love from the tip of a sword.

January 27th 2009


Album Rating: 1.0

Hate this album, Howerdel should stick to APC

March 30th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

APC is better, but this Album isnt a tragedy. Its positive "energy" for me, in some moments.This Message Edited On 03.30.09

March 30th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

album was quite enjoyable for me

July 20th 2009


Album Rating: 3.0

good things

May 22nd 2010


heard a couple songs off this, not bad but not excellent, just very good

November 4th 2012


Album Rating: 3.0

"this was a huge letdown especially after the promising, the stone"

yeah, The Stone and Enemies were released like 6 months (if i remember well : october/november 2007) before the full album and are still my favorite tracks. i was mostly disappointed by the amount of poppy songs.

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