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Guest musicians: Derek Sherinian (keyboards), Chloe Lowery (vocals), Toby Hitchcock (additional backing vocals), Charlie Zeleny (percussion) and Dave Eggar (cello).
The rather recently announced new Whitesnake guitarist, Joel Hoekstra, who additionally is involved in a number of well known collaborations as well, has gathered a bunch of very solid musicians to create his own project, named 13. It includes 2 great singers indeed, by having Jeff Scott Soto and Russell Allen sharing the duties behind the microphone, and their strong efforts on this record are undeniable. This fact, in a technical aspect, also applies to the rest of the participants, but this doesn't necessarily mean that the end result comes out utterly flawless.
This record, quite generally, shows pretty easy-going rock and hard rock, but even some elements of heavy metal too. It is well-played and unwavering overall, but at the same time I can't song-wise really discover a whole lot on this release that's making me raise my eyebrows in some kind of act of admiration. The song material is somehow not specifically appealing to me and I'm unable to find the nice melodies that I'm looking for when I listen to an album comprising this type of music. The songs seem to just succeed each other one by one without showing me any striking impact and even though I insistently and purposefully have listened to this record for quite some time now, it leaves me somewhat indifferent.
Dying To Live is sincerely an okay album after all and it contains its good moments, but it has an absence of really powerful and accurate riffs as well, which supposedly could have taken this album to higher levels, and on that part I kind of sense a lack of needed heaviness too. The actual songwriting is definitely this album's biggest disadvantage though and since that component's importance is what matters the most in the end, the final score lands at a decent 5 chalices when all things are taken into account.
with Joel Hoekstra