Sound — 9
The spawn of A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel, ASHES dIVIDE is one of the most anticipated alternative band debuts of the year. Revisiting the concept of a full soundscape as seen in bands such as A Perfect Circle and Muse, Keep Telling Myself It's Alright is a refreshing addition to new music. Combining slightly heavy guitar sections with piano pieces is a nice touch in this album, providing listeners with a tasty selection of sounds to soothe or empower their minds. The guitar work is very interesting in this album, especially on songs like The Stone, Defamed, and Enemies. Howerdel takes a step from lead guitar to a position similar to Trent Reznor, master of everything. The only other official members being Josh Freese (drums) and Devo Keenan (cello), Billy plays most of the instruments on this album. Overall sound of this album is quite stunning.
Lyrics — 9
Poetic moments of glory parade this album, full of metaphors and irony. Amazing lines such as, Your idea of perfect and mine, are perfectly in line, so let's be enemies, prove that Howerdel has potential as a lyricist. In my opinion, the lyrics are quite good actually. His voice is very soothing and in a way reminds me of A Perfect Circle but also has some hints of vocal styles similar to Chester Bennington. The music matches pretty well with the mood of the lyrics. I am quite surprised that dissonance has matched as well as it has with the lyrics. Overall, I am quite impressed with poetic structure of the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this album is very well balanced and a perfect way for ASHES dIVIDE to debut. I enjoyed this album quite a bit actually and plan on keeping it in my car stereo for a while. My personal favorites on this album are, Stripped Away, The Stone, Enemies, and A Wish. I love how this album is so similar to Howerdel's previous band, yet so different. If this were lost or stolen, I would just buy another copy and hope the thief enjoys the music.