Back in June, I was shopping for a new bass guitar and happened to zone in on the Ibanez SR1306. When researching the bass, I came across a Youtube video reviewing the SR1305. The hosts? Rob Chapman and Dave Hollingworth of Dorje. I had never heard of them. Little did I know that they would appear on the bill for Hard Rock Hell 10 (which I’ll be lucky enough to attend this November) but then, to top it off, they appeared AGAIN on our latest release list. Clearly, fate wanted me to listen to these guys.
Originally coming together as The Rob Chapman Band, Dave Hollingworth, Rabea Massaad and Ben Minal must have bought more to the table than Rob was expecting; as they grew as a band it became apparent that their jams held something special, and so they moved forward as Dorje. The emerging British prog-metal group have just released their third EP, Centred and One.
From their first release, Dorje have been a formidable songwriting outfit, a trait maintained through this release. Title-track ‘Centred and One’ opens the EP with a raw scream which gives way to a groovy riff; I was captured instantly.
The catchy riffs and vocal hooks carry throughout the EP and there are particularly tasty moments spread about: a lovely, melodic breakdown in ‘Outspoken’; the funky but dark section in ‘To Survive’ that builds to a fantastic solo; the brooding feel of ‘Zero’.
It is well produced with all instruments having space to cut through, though if I had to find something, all I’d say is – and Dave might agree? – that, although the bass is very well balanced as a whole, there are moments where the bass flairs sit too far on the side of subtlety, those higher-end pops just don’t cut through the mix well enough. Bass-players prejudice? Perhaps…
Given the quality of the songwriting and the production, it is hard to believe that it is only their third release. I am very much looking forward to hearing them play on Friday 11 November at Hard Rock Hell – I wonder when we can expect a full-length album…?