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ad-ktmia.jpgAshes Divide
Keep Telling Myself It Will Be Alright
Island Records

Well, you know that saying “don’t judge a book by its cover?” It is soooo easy to do that most of the time with albums. Illegible font = hardcore (add blood splats) or metal (some kind of demon/fire/scene of death. Ultra long band name = emo (some clever play on words) or again, hardcore (blood, bleeding, bloody or a marking of time in the name. You know, august, winter, autumn.) But Ashes Divide through me the fuck off. With what appears to be some Mayan/Aztec naked chick and a couple dead dudes on the cover, as well as the illegible script-font title, I was expecting some kind of latin hardcore. Nope. What I got would be more accepted by Tool fans than those of Autumn Bleeds Bloody August Blood in Winter, though I think the vocals remind me of Anthony Green’s work with Circa Survive. You know, singing instead of screaming.

With a mix of grandiose vocals and solid guitar riffs, Ashes Divide sent chills down my spine. Add to that some basslines that actually support rather than copy the guitars and drums that sound like, well, like drums should, and Ashes Divide reminds me of why I never bother with the radio anymore. Granted a couple of tracks sucked, but more because they were over-produced rather than poorly written, Defamed takes the normally Maynard-esque vocals and makes them sound like someone is standing on the Singer’s nuts. You know, how Nickelback sounds.

-Jonathan “The Emperor” Yost