Thomas Andrew Doyle, "Outside of Reality" (self-released)
Thomas Andrew Doyle's recent recordings under his own name deviates radically from his best-known work in the heavy-rock band TAD. Where that Sub Pop-affiliated group erupted with a Dionysian pugnacity, Doyle's newer creations lean toward the refined and dark end of imaginary-soundtrack spectrum. Last year's excellent Incineration Ceremony LP proved that the Seattle musician/producer could tap into an orchestral vein of cinematic majesty and melancholy with enough aptitude to persuade Hollywood producers to come knocking on his Witch Ape Studio door, pronto. In a Stranger feature I wrote about Doyle last year, I said that the album "conjures both the gravitas of a European art-house film score and the grandeur of Hollywood blockbuster soundtracks. Synth-based and buffeted by strings of most morose hues, the music here elicits profound existential angst."
In October, Doyle released a five-track digital EP titled Experiments of the Spectral Order Vol. 1 that follows in a similar vein to Incineration Ceremony. It's slightly less dense, but it still carries a morbid gravitas that will make you want to ponder life's most profound mysteries. The nine-minute closer "Outside of Reality" drapes Experiments with a shroud of uneasy ambience reminiscent of former Napalm Death drummer and Scorn mastermind Mick Harris's Lull project. The piece's understated anguish and dread-laced drift make it ideal for a film director working in post-apocalyptic/sci-fi modes. This stuff is too creepy for any Halloween party.
On his Bandcamp page, Doyle writes, "Some people make joyous and happy music. I do not. However, this is the music that I love and it brings a smile to my face. May it be so with you." Accept this sonic gift with the grace with which it has been given.