"Broken Pieces" marks a massive
departure from the band’s 2009 self-titled debut. On their sophomore effort, the
former mental, instrumental metal trio sheds their “math rock” moniker, adds a
singer and becomes a fearsome four-piece.
In 2013, founding stOrk members,
super drummer Thomas Lang (Paul Gilbert)
and former touring Korn guitarist Shane
Gibson headed into the studio with completely unknown singer VK Lynne and bassist Kelly LeMieux (Buckcherry/Goldfinger)
and emerged with13 relentlessly powerful tracks chock full of hard rock
goodness and undeniable melodies and harmonies -- all wrapped around a chewy
power metal center. The result is a sweeping, complex-yet-heavy sound that
maintains stOrk’s trademark virtuosity and delivers up fierce riffs, fleet-fingered guitar solos,
jaw-dropping drums and driving bass. Soaring above it all are intense, bluesy
vocals that meld into a unique blend of power metal that will leave fans gobsmacked. If Dream
Theater and Evanescence mated and hatched a sexy baby bird, it would be the
Broken Pieces serves up an instant avalanche
of sound that is almost startling in its intensity. On the lead track, “stOrk,” Lynne marks her territory, and
there is no doubt that stOrk’s newfound voice is a ferocious and formidable
counterpart to Gibson’s blistering 8-string Carvin guitar solos and Lang’s
merciless and meticulous drumming.
“Paper Angels” starts with a deceptively delicate intro that morphs into a
throbbing onslaught of drums, guitars and bass. Lynne’s haunting vocals and
Gibson’s kick-ass guitar soar over Lang’s monster backbeat. Conversely, “Chainsaw Serenade” launches with Lang’s
trademark powerful yet intricate drumming, before it morphs into and edgy,
complicated metal fest punctuated with gritty, grinding guitars and drums that
are guaranteed to inspire some serious head banging.
Melodic and dark, “Overflow” is a powerful, passionate
track with an undeniably catchy melody. Complex harmonies give the track an intense, yet eerie feeling. Lang’s splashy cymbal
sounds provide an almost effortless-sounding percussive backdrop for Gibson’s
thick, chunky guitar riffs.
Mixed by Dan Monte (Guns n’ Roses/Metallica) and mastered by Maor Applebaum (Halford/Adrenaline Mob),
Broken Pieces features eye-popping
artwork from famed dark artist Sam “Mr.