The Great Dictators is an indie folk-rock band based in Copenhagen. The band consists of Jakob Lundorff, Christoffer Hein and Dragut Lugalzagosi and they are hitting us with their new album One Eye Opener. The album is both intimate and personal while being outward-looking and epic.
The album looks at some heavy topics including Lugalzagosi’s depression and the weird world we live in. Throughout the album, demons are faced, but hope shines through in various shapes. Each track takes the listener through a strange mind, the state of the world and having to face something evil.
The first track is ‘Moon Howling At Earth’ which opens with light synths and guitars. The gentle opening matches the smooth vocals. The warbles and violin in the track highlight the desolate vibe to the track. There is a sudden change in melody and tempo that throws the song for a loop which is awesome.
‘Killing Fields’ picks up with a faster pace and grand synthesizers. This sets the tone for the song that looks at opening up and facing your demons. The use of synths in this track is wonderfully done ranging from explosive to an undertone that bolsters the lyrics of the song.
‘By the Throat’ has a very different feel to it starting with acoustic guitars and a very light synth in the background. This track is more stripped back, but just as hard-hitting as the others on the album. The background tones really add something special to this song and twist the sadness of the lyrics.
The next track is ‘Existential Need’ which brings back the heavy synths and includes a rather funky beat to it. Featuring Julie Gro, this song perfectly paints how it feels to have an existential crisis. The lyrics and melody create a picture that is easy to relate to.
The title track ‘One Eye Opener’ has an epic opening with cinematic tones and a meditative soundscape. The crooning vocals perfectly line up with the melody. The lyrics are more hopeful than some of the other songs while still being a little depressing.
‘Intermission’ breaks the album up into two perfect halves. This short instrumental track is full of distorted guitars and echoes. It is an overall quirky inclusion in the album.
The next track is ‘Riot on a Diet’ which is a blast to say and starts off with a blast of deep drums and synths. This song really gets you moving with the beat before smoothing out with the vocals and lyrics. The beat is at odds with the deep lyrics which makes the song more interesting.
‘Creep for Life’ has an offbeat start that leads to very different lyrics. While the melody can keep you listening, the lyrics are what really makes the song. They are extremely relatable and performed to perfection.
‘Play Dead Together’ brings back more guitar and a slower pace. There are soft harmonisations in the track making it more laid-back than many of the other songs. This song also has a more intimate feeling to it.
‘Early in the Morning’ has a very soothing synth start with a little hint of creepiness to it. The soft distorted vocals at the start add to this only to be overtaken by a smooth vocal performance. While the track is full of synths, it is a fairly mellow song that has some heavy lyrics.
The last track is ‘Trees Come From Hell’ which has an interesting beat to it. This ends the album with a look at the state of the world through sarcastic lyrics. While there is a sarcastic tone to the song, it is surprisingly delicate and easy to listen to. It is a long song at just over 7 minutes, but you don’t realise it.
The Great Dictators take on heavy topics using a stunning combination of synths, distorted guitars and crooning in One Eye Opener. The album has a dark undertone to it that could leave you feeling sad, but each song has a glimmer of hope. Each track addresses demons in our world with delicacy and a hit of captivating melodies.