Dear Diary – The Arch-Kakoph (Spectral Darkwave)

Steve “Arch-Kakoph” Kennedy of intra-planetary symphonic doom squadron, Spectral Darkwave, describes a typical week in his life with his fellow superheroes, Dan “Engineer” Kennedy and Jon “Gunner” Stokes.


Day 1 – Monday

A bracing start to the week begins with a lower body workout consisting of cable squats and dead lifts. Shambling grey homunculi man each end of the pulley system – this offers excellent time under tension. In the last round, the Engineer cuts half of their limbs from them, providing a drop set that I work through to failure. Invigorated, much of the day is spent planning our capture of a local planetary ‘Suicide in Aspic’ for our collection. The Engineer and Gunner offer testy counter proposals.

A supper of rare Galfosian Ox is served by the locals with opiate sprinkled hashish to follow. The crew sleep soundly.

Day 2 – Tuesday

We rise after midday. I begin a virtual reality combat session to sharpen my skills. The others prefer to practise on heavily augmented natives, muscled, and with shorter tempers. Half-an-hour passes before they emerge, soaked in blood – we recover with ice baths and infra-red sauna. The band rehearses the ‘Business Set’ in the main chamber of the fortress we have constructed on our newfound home of Galfos – this is blasted from minarets into three local towns that our cultists have come to populate. They throw themselves from high peaks in approval.

Day 3 – Wednesday

A new song of woe is born! Using the distilled pain of planetary civil war we have just concocted, the gunner codifies a timeline of music in Reaper – how apt. The Engineer sets to writing the drum parts behind this spine of guitar as I bark orders about a lack of finesse and more organic fills. The Engineer screams, the bile in his words manifesting as his MIDI timeline, but he gives no fucks for my feeling. This ends in open combat. Much of the day is lost to medical care, but the timeline is ready for the next stage.

Day 4 – Thursday

Refreshed, I start my upper body day of a 66-minute iron-cross and concluding with an inner chest workout of crushing cleaned skulls into chalky fragments. The crew are strangely quiet today, but the Gunner tinkers with his new project he calls ‘The Simulacrum’ – some kind of guitar playing synthetic humanoid device. As it twitches limply at one end of the main chamber, I consider the orchestration of the new song in synths and screams. A fine dinner of Mushrooms three-ways is served. Tripping balls, I dream deeply of fractals and arpeggiated synths.

Day 5 – Friday

I wake excited at the prospect of a new song to populate with choirs and swelling synths. Deep in my flow state, I am able to quickly fire off a chorus, bridge and the outline of a verse. I emerge to find the Gunner and Engineer fighting over the entrails of the half-built Simulacrum droid, clearly in disagreement over its function. The Gunner, devoid of his face covering earned during the ‘At Outer Dark’ incident, has bitten deeply into The Engineer’s face but has lost a foot in the process. Much of the day is lost to medical care, but I am able to place a darkly wonderful countermelody over that verse in their absence.

Day 6 – Saturday

Arm day is quickly completed by raising and lowering homonculi on wires to the floor. Some are bred to shape for this purpose and moan their last, satisfied they have fulfilled their role of dropping thirty feet to the floor when failure is met. Freshly healed, the crew renew their study of Motörhead, Nightwish, and Sleep Token to sharpen their chops for the coming afternoon’s performance. At sunset we perform a set lasting six hours that inspires our Galfosian cultists to go door-to-door in their pre-industrial towns, recruiting non-believers with flaming brands that glow green in their night. A small village is set ablaze. We send a dropship of water, and they declare us saviours. The town is converted piecemeal by dawn. We shall bide our time and prepare for something a little more…Planetary.

Day 7 – Sunday

A day of rest. After the assault of the last week, a sensory deprivation tank is set up as I step into it for what feels like an hour. It is now Tuesday.


*** Spectral darkwave released their Live Fire Exorcise album via Occidental Records on 30 June 2022. You can read the original SBR review here.