Some groups are four or five individuals who are bound together as a unit. Other groups are basically a single person and a revolving collection of musicians. ASHES dIVIDE is an example of the latter. The group was founded by A Perfect Circle vet Billy Howerdel, a one-time guitar tech for Tool. He played a couple of his songs for Tool's frontman, Maynard James Keenan who liked them and offered to sing if Howerdel ever formed a band. A Perfect Circle came together in '99 and disbanded seven years later. ASHES dIVIDE became Howerdel's next notable effort.
Howerdel played the majority of the instruments on ASHES dIVIDE's debut "Keep Telling Myself It's Alright." Other musicians heard on the album included fellow A Perfect Circle alum drummer Josh Freese and cellist Devo Keenan, Maynard's son (gotta keep that Keenan connection going). Also contributing were A Perfect Circle bassist and founding member Paz Lenchantin, Concrete Blonde's singer/bassist Johnette Napolitano and AlkalineTrio guitarist/vocalist (and noted vegetarian) Matt Skiba.
"Not to sound like gratuitous self-promotion, but I'm prouder of this record than I could ever hope to (be)," said Howerdel. "For this album to come out the way it did is more than I could have asked for."
The group's debut single, "The Stone" landed in the Active Rock Radio Top 10 in March, '08.
"Keep Telling Myself It's Alright" opens sounding like it came straight from the Tool shed. "Stripped Away" crashes out all dark, heavy and dense. That sound/style isn't really reprised full-force until "The Prey," one of the album's later tracks. In between, Howerdel and company get sparse and atmospheric on the appealing "Denial Waits," introspective for "Too Late" and even nod toward '80s Rock with "Defamed." But "Enemies" a lean/mean shot, really plugs in.
"The Stone" is actually a pretty good Prog Rock track but like just about every band with those tendencies there are songs that fall off the table.