Review by Stefan: Yesterday, I was listening to the 5th. release of a top notch project established by a German based instrumentalist named Christian Tolle. Not being familiar with the man’s previous albums, I had to focus myself on the brand new C.T.P. (Christian Tolle Project) recording “Point Blank”. Well, the pleasure was all mine hearing all of the songs bringing back the good old hard rocking vibes where excellent vocals and guitar driven movements make me feel very pleased.

Born in 1970, Christian was raised in a family where music stood central… growing up in a musical environment is like putting the milk next to the cat, proverbially spoken. He was immersed in a world filled with music and got his first classical guitar at the young age of twelve, followed lessons to learn the basics and the ball kept on rollin’. Up next, he bought a Fender Stratocaster copy and the passion grew on and on. Back in 1987, he contributed on a compilation for the German zine called Musiker, C.T. was only 17 years old. He engaged himself for numerous projects and came into contact with big names used to know from the history of rock ! This natural born musical mastermind thought the time was right to put together a project of their own, may I present you to Christian Tolle Project, and its newest recording entitled “Point Blank”.

First things first, Christian delivers guitars, bass, drums and also the production comes from the man’s golden fingers. Talking about the sound quality, nothing but words of pray I’d like to spit out. There are ten songs in the queue and the style of music is situated somewhere in the period late 70’s and the eighties. In my opinion an era where the best guitar driven hard rock bands come from. For the vocals he appealed to two very renowned people being the American born David Reece well known from his participating with acts like Accept, Sircle Of Silence, Bonfire, Wicked Sensation, Reece and loads of others. Second singer you’ll hear on C.T.P. is John Cuijpers (Praying Mantis, Ayreon, Cooper inc.). Along with the background vox of ex-U.D.O./Sinner frontman Mathias Dieth, the keyboard actions of Morris Adriaens and LA guitar king Doug Aldrich (Dio, ex-Whitesnake, The Dead Daisies, ex-Bad Moon Rising/House Of Lords/Hurricane a.o.) trust me on my heart and soul Christian Tolle Project’s “Point Blank” to sound fantastic !

Opener, and title track, immediately showcases the value nature of the album. Guitar driven old school hard rock with outstanding vocals and killer leads, stunning drums…. This first song impresses me and was longing to hear the other works. Next song ‘Borderland’ offers a very strong composition and David Reece delivers a great performance singing like a real professional, yes he does ! The keyboard actions brings more value to the overall sound and the rhythms/refrains are remarkably good, last but definitely not least I’d like to expose my appreciation to Christian Tolle’s excellent guitar tactics as well. I’m a fan of finger scorching guitar riffs/solo’s, by that means Doug Aldrich belongs to my favorite shredders of all time…. I’m overwhelmed with a song like ‘Too Late’. Fans of Rainbow (Album: “Down To Earth”) will be pleased as C.T.P. delivers a nice version of ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, originally released in 1979 featuring the legendary vocals of Graham Bonnet. There’s a second cover track on board called ‘Lonely Is The Night’ (original by Billy Squier). Occasionally, “Point Blank” also bring some bluesy styled rock upfront with the song ‘Fight Another Day’ which does reminds me on Joe Bonamassa/Walter Trout/Glenn Hughes for some reason. I’d like to put the good vocals of John Cuijpers into the spotlight, listen to ‘Before I Fall’ where a trembling groove and beautiful vocals reign supreme.

C.T.P.’s newest cut “Point Blank” didn’t bother me at all – on the contrary, the pleasure was completely mine listening to a bunch of well skilled musicians which came together as one to deliver something old fashioned, something pure guitar driven, something I’d like to recommend to fans of Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Whitesnake, UFO, Alcatrazz, early MSG, Joe Lynn Turner, Bonfire and the likes. Old school hard rocking maniacs, order your copy on the double at: http://www.christiantolle.com/ I’m sure you won’t be disappointed ! Available on compact disc, vinyl and digital… release date: October 26th. 2018

My rating: 88/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)