Founded in 2010 by former KoЯn shred guitarist Shane Gibson and super drummer Thomas Lang (Rhythm magazine’s ‘Best Drummer in the World’) Los Angeles-based metal outfit stOrk launched as a self-proclaimed ‘aggressive, progressive, mental metal instrumental math rock band” and their self-titled debut release was nothing short of an exercise in heavy metal virtuosity. With tongue-in-cheek tracks like “Dooosh” and “Prelude in the Key of Shut the Hell Up,” featuring Gibson’s ultra heavy riffing, trademark sweep-picking style and odd time signatures as well as Lang’s jaw-dropping polyrhythmic drumming – stOrk took no prisoners and garnered many fans.
For stOrk’s sophomore effort, “Broken Pieces” Lang & Gibson added female lead singer VK Lynne and bassist Kelly LeMieux (Buck Cherry/Medadeth) to the line-up, keeping the band’s dark, aggressive, futuristic sound – but adding a lyrical element that matched the band’s intensity and virtuosity.
But then the unthinkable happened. On April 15th, 2014 – just two weeks before the release of “Broken Pieces,” guitarist Shane Gibson tragically died of a blood clotting disorder at the age of 35. The news of Gibson’s untimely death echoed around the world -- shocking music fans and press alike, but none more so than the surviving stOrk band members. In an official band statement, stOrk said. “Shane was one of the best guitar players the world has ever known and his virtuosity was matched only by his wit and generosity of spirit. He will be missed beyond measure.”
Committed to moving forward and honoring Gibson’s memory, Broken Pieces is an apt tribute to the Berklee grad’s formidable talents. stOrk’s latest release serves up an instant avalanche of sound that is almost startling in its intensity. On the lead track, “stOrk,” 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. Gibson’s kick-ass guitar soars over Lang’s monster backbeat. Conversely, “Chainsaw Serenade” is a testament to why Lang was named by Modern Drummer as “One of the Most Influential Drummers of the Past 25 Years.” 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.
"Given Away" is the only stOrk song on which Shane ever sand lead vocals. The heartbreaking track is a tribute to lost love and Gibson proves that his vocals are just as powerful as his shredding abilities.
Melodic and dark, “Overflow” is a powerful, passionate track with an undeniably catchy melody. Complex harmonies and Haunting vocals 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. Sam” Shearon.
released April 29, 2014
Guitars - Shane Gibson
Drums - Thomas Lang
Vocals - VK Lynne
Bass - Kelly LeMieux
Engineer - Dan Monte
Mastered - Maor Applebaum
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