Keep Telling Myself It's Alright
So Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle fame branches out creatively to form his one man band of Ashes Divide. And while the influence of A Perfect Circle is never far behind because of Howerdel’s creative guitar work- it’s his vocal work that’s surprising and what makes Ashes Divide an enjoyable experience. Throughout the album Howerdel does a great job vocally and the surprise of how good he actually is adds to that. Howerdel’s ominous but saintly voice gives “Keep Telling Myself It’s Alright” immediate rep, but unfortunate for the album- the brunt of the front end is kind of boring. “Stripped Away” is basically just an intro to Ashes, “Denial Waits” sounds exactly like A Perfect Circle song, and “Forever Can Be” carries a strong usage of Howerdel’s trademark guitar work but lacks a ton with actual structure. The album actually gets better towards the middle to the end of the album “Defamed” is actually a more luminous- sounding track and is refreshing at that point of the album.”Enemies” isn’t as good as it was aspired to be (which you can tell) but it’s still a great listen. And the three tracks rounding out the album “The Stone”, “The Prey”, and “Sword” all have some excellent guitar work that makes Ashes Divide sound worlds differently than A Perfect Circle. You’d like to see more songs like that appear on “Keep Telling Myself It’s Alright”, but even the tracks that sound like Howerdel’s old work are decent, and you have to give him extended props on the point that he played nearly every instrument on the entire album- he created a number of unique songs on his own and a number of APC sounding songs on his own- which is no easy chore. This is an album for fans of A Perfect Circle, for everybody else it’s generally worth checking out with an open mind.