Thomas Andrew Doyle- Incineration Ceremony Review
By Jeffery McNulty
Not too long ago I got a download code in my gmail inbox from Thomas Andrew Doyle otherwise known as TAD. It was for his new solo album Incineration Ceremony. I’ll admit I was a little busy mixing a record at the time and although I downloaded it immediately, there it sat on my desktop. Then a week later I put it on my phone which lately is the only way I can really listen to something in the car or on the bus. I put it on the headphones the next day and skipped around a bit just to see what I was in for. A new TAD record this was not.
I immediately knew I was actually going to have to take the time to sit and listen to this thing, not just play it in pieces. Fast forward another week or so, I was laid up in the hospital…now I had all the time in the world.
This music is darkly expansive, and epic. Quiet then loud and sometimes it has moments that sound like John Williams is getting beat on the head with Alfred Hitchcock’s cane. Other times it’s harkening back to Coil or early Burial. By which to say I really, really like it. The songs can be listened to separately, they each have their own microcosm, but taken in as a whole they begin to describe something sinister about the underlying universe. The song titles say a lot, my favorites being, “The Only Thing You Truly Own is Nothing” and “Meditations in Null” which is my pick for best track on the album.
Now I’m not one of those dudes that listens to movie scores but Incineration Ceremony has become the literal the soundtrack to my life right now as I sit in the in a shared room, high on pain medicine, waiting for intravenous antibiotics to drip interminably into my veins. I always knew Tad was talented (that last BotSC record took me by surprise a little bit, as it was darker and fuller than I had ever seen them play live) and I knew he could play a lot of instruments… but the deeper I got into this thing the more surprised I got. This is the kind of record you can listen to repeatedly, in fact it’s the kind of record you must give multiple listens. You cannot simply snack on these works of art, you must chew, you must digest.
And I’ll tell you this; if this was a soundtrack I’d want to see the film right fucking now. But I doubt it’d be anything as good as what I’ve got floating around behind my eyelids.