In her fourth album, The Allegorist: a Berlin-based techno artist, brings together music and storytelling for an “epic” soundtrack to a fantasy world. From her website, she is described as having “a holistic approach based on musical storytelling and is exploring meanings via speculative fiction,” not leaving out a sense of danceability, with provocative rhythmic elements added to the ambient-driven sound in this instrumental exploration.
In Blind Emperor, listeners are pulled into worlds of the Allegorist’s own making, the first being the world of a “Red-winged Phoenix.” This intense track brings a very cinematic beginning to the whole album. It balances between being dark-sounding and hopeful, as one would expect from a work of art depicting the life of a phoenix. The song is beautiful and motivating. By the end of the track, be ready to feel prepared to take on that one task you were dreading doing for so long.
On the darker side of things, the beginning of “Marching Crowd” brings to mind the slight sense of dark, shadowed dread that one may feel when watching a dystopian movie. This fictional musical world is in dire need of saving, but the song progresses to more positive feelings of anticipation and even a sense of motivation that one could imagine the characters in this world are feeling.
The title track, “Blind Emperor,” is a full eight minutes of cinematic bliss. The Allegorist chose to tie the rhythm of the drum and synths together for some parts of the song. This has the effect of creating a strong sense of movement underneath the ethereal vocal keyboard sounds. This song is the perfect marriage of techno and ambient music.
Following “Blind Emperor” is another intense track, “The Sacrifice.” Easily identifiable as a climax to the story-like structure of the album, this piece feels like characters are contending with their biggest battle. “The Sacrifice” is a cinematic soundscape that brings to life the narrative The Allegorist is telling through this album.
Throughout, everything is very coherent and meaningful, even without lyrics, and feels relatable and interesting to listen to. The stories behind each song are not hard to imagine thanks to the evocative sounds and structures of each piece.
Overall, Blind Emperor would make the perfect addition to anything from studying, to driving or traveling, to just wanting to explore music that evokes a strong sense of imagination and ambient pleasure. It’s an album that requires deep listening, to be ready to want to listen to it again and again.