Oh no, not another guitarist taking an hour of my life away from me is the first thing that came to mind when sitting down to listen to this. I genuinely dislike guitar solos when I am attending a concert for instance but can at the same time enjoy some instrumental albums without having to pay 100 per cent attention to them. But then again. This is not an instrumental album at all. Russell Allen of Symphony X is handling the vocal duties so the stakes are high here. What we get served here is modern hard rock at its best. Three songs in and I have capitulated totally.

The best thing about this pandemic must be that all those artists can do so much music together that would be impossible if the world would be normal because everyone would be out on tour. This is one of many examples of that.

And the feeling when an album goes by and you get halfway and don’t want it to end, that must be the best feeling. And a good judgement of the quality of the album.Fantasy” has a heavy groove to it that kinds of stand out from the rest of the album, maybe due to the fact that it’s more progressive than the other tracks. ”Reach The Sky” is another top track among a lot of others when ”Cried Enough For You” could be brought to Symphony X and made it even more progressive. If any negative this would maybe have been done without Russel and have Joel himself dealing with the vocals, now all you maybe can think of Symphony X and how it would sound in their world…

The promotion said that Hoekstras playing raises the bar to a new level. I dont know about that, more so to the quality of Russell Allens vocals than anything else. In the end I am glad it wasn´t this guitar hero album i was afraid of.


Artist: Joel Hoekstra´s 13
Title: Runnig Games
Label: Frontiers Records
Date of release: Out now

Time: 57 minutes
Stand out track: Fantasy
Rate: 7/10