Sunday, September 27, 2015

REVIEW : JOEL HOEKSTRA’S 13 / Dying To Live (2015)

Joel Hoekstra's 13 is a side project formed by current Whitesnake guitarist Joel Hoekstra, who is also well-known for his work with Night Ranger, Trans Siberian Orchestra and the show Rock of Ages.

Joel, in this debut, is responsible for all the music creativity regarding the producing, writing and arranging (music and lyrics). The guest list of the musicians in "Dying To Live" is really impressive 'cause we are dealing with some of the hottest names in todays rock scene. Hold your breath 'cause Jeff Scott Soto, Russell Allen, Vinny Appice,Tony Franklin and Derek Sherinian (among others) are givin' the extra 'push' to the final result and finally make this debut a really great record that will please every fan of this particular scene.

The album kicks-off with the heavy, ala Adrenaline Mob, and furious heavy anthem of "Say Goodbye To The Sun". Russell Allen sings his heart out and shows why this guy is one of the best singers out there!! "Until I Left You" and it's the right time for some serious melodic hard rock stuff that feature the 'mighty' Jeff Scott Soto. This track is the absolute highlight here; melodic to the bone with a melody that sends you to heaven and a chorus line to die for! "Long For The Days" is yet another killer tune out of this debut; a mid-tempo rocker with a stellar melody and again a sweet chorus line to whistle it for days. "Never Say Never" rocks hard, with an impressive solo by Hoekstra, while in the fast-paced "Dying To Live" we have another monstrous heavy rock track with powerful performances, solid arrangements and superb guitar lines!!! "Start Again" is a nice melodic rock song with a feel-good vibe in it made to be played loud in a hot summer night while driving in your car!

Bottom line is that Joel Hoekstra's 13 "Dying To Live"  is a damn fine record that includes a bunch of some killer tracks in it, superb performances by Russell Allen and Jeff Scott Soto, a tight as hell musicianship and the talent of the Joel in all over the project! Do you need more? 

Rating : 9/10

Track listing :
01. Say Goodbye To The Sun
02. Anymore
03. Until I Left You
04. Long For The Days
05. Scream
06. Never Say Never
07. Changes
08. The Only Way To Go
09. Dying To Live
10. Start Again
11. What We Believe
12. Kill or Be Killed (bonus track digital download)

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