Sound — 10
Those who have heard of Rob Chapman from YouTube fame will probably have heard of his band, Dorje. In this third release from them, we see how much the band has improved over such a short space of time.
"Centered and One" is the sequel to Dorje's "Catalyst" EP which, when put together, makes what was initially going to be a full-length album. Now that it has been split into two EPs, "Centered and One" can unquestionably be viewed as it predecessor's darker counterpart. The general tone of the songs on "Centered and One" definitely give off a darker atmosphere compared to "Catalyst".
The biggest improvement we see is that of vocalist/guitarist, Rob Chapman. The work that he has put into improving his vocal ability can clearly be seen on this EP, especially when compared to the band's earlier singles. A good example of Chapman's vocal improvements can be heard on the title track.
As for the rest of the band, I feel that the overall tone and groove of the band is impeccable. They pack a heavy punch where required, but their biggest weapon is the amount of groove that they can cram into a song. That combined with a few lashes of progressive rock is a keeper for me.
Lyrics — 6
Personally, I think that the lyrics on this EP are a bit of a mixed bag. Tracks like "Outspoken" and the title track ("When all the blood in your veins turns to stone / And your name is the leaves in the wind / Mountains will be your throne") provide some interesting lyrics, whereas tracks like "To Survive" is a bit of a let-down lyrically (in my opinion).
Most of the lyrics provide a moody atmosphere, especially in "Zero" ("You lie / Lie through your teeth / Lie beneath the waves / Of hatred you gave"), which fits well with the overall tone of the EP.
Overall Impression — 9
Although Dorje are still in the early stages with regards to musical output, they have improved vastly with every release. I prefer this EP to the previous one, mainly due to the overall tone of this EP compared to "Catalyst," and because my favourite Dorje track ("Flower of Life") is present on this one.
This EP is a fantastic addition to their discography, and their first full-length album is one that I am eagerly anticipating.
Personal favourites: "Centred and One," "Outspoken," "Flower of Life."