March 11, 2023

Christian Tolle is a German multi-instrumentalist from Leverkusen born into a musical family which meant that he quickly picked up and mastered just about any instrument he turned his attentions to. He soon developed a love for rock music and has released several albums under the Christian Tolle Project name and always using several famous guests to fill out his sound such as Doug Aldrich, Steve Lukather, David Reece, Leon Goewie, Paul Shortino, Michael Voss and especially John Cuijpers who has become something of a regular voice on Tolle’s works.

It was in 2016 that Tolle released his Now & Then album which featured a host of guests on older and most loved material from his earlier albums which he then re-recorded to give newly interpreted versions made with a new team of musicians. He has now decided to revisit this concept so we now have Now & Then ‘Encore’ which is a set of nine further ‘old’ tracks again being re-recorded by a select group of specially invited guest musicians including his old favourites John Cuijpers and David Reece alongside David Frazee on vocals. Guitarist Mathias Dieth plays on a couple of songs with Morris Adriaens on keyboards and backing vocals from Randy van der Elsen, Mendy Sneijers, Stephan Scheuss and Theo Talboom. Tolle then adds guitars, bass and drums as well as being on production and mixing duties.

The album is a catchy and hook laden melodic rock delight with an infectious energy throughout with the different vocalists all adding their own styles and there are plenty of perfect, blistering solos from Tolle and Dieth throughout the pleasing and very enjoyable set of tracks. It reminds very much of some of the work by Alcatrazz and is a fine hard, melodic record that reinforces the talents of Tolle and his extended team.

Now & Then ‘Encore’

  1. Ain’t Gonna Let It Slide (feat David Reece) (5:31)
  2. Never Had It So Good (feat David Reece) (4:14)
  3. Sword And Stone (feat John Cuijpers) (4:13)
  4. Angel (feat David Frazee) (6:19)
  5. Raining From My Eyes (feat David Reece) (5:25)
  6. Fire Away (feat David Reece) (3:37)
  7. Monkey Park (feat David Frazee) (4:30)
  8. She Doesn’t Know (feat John Cuijpers) (3:41)
  9. In The Dark (feat John Cuijpers) (4:21)