Colour Haze - "All"
(Elektrohasch Records 2008, CD006, CD/2-LP)
From Aural Innovations #40 (September 2008)
Colour Haze is a German psychedelic/stoner rock group who have been quietly but noisily carving out their own territory since 1995 when they released their debut album “Chopping Machine”. The band features founding member Stefan Koglek on guitar and vocals, plus bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald, both of whom joined the fold in 1998. All told, Colour Haze have released seven albums (plus a live video), appeared on several compilations and toured across Europe several times.
Taking their instrumental cue from the sounds of Black Sabbath and Iron Butterfly, Colour Haze serve up densely textured slices of heavy rock. This is most obviously seem on the epic title track, where what begins with a slow-burning guitar intro, eventually builds into an explosion of growling bass, drums and thickly distorted guitars. This is followed by the equally powerful “Fall”, which almost feels like part two of the same track. Most tracks on the disc are group compositions, and the emphasis is less on flashy guitar solos than on thundering power trio style jams.
Things take on an experimental edge on “Turns” (one of only two tracks where Koglek gets a solo compositional credit), which features reversed tapes, giving it an eastern vibe. This is continued on the sitar-flavoured “Stars”, and even the Hindu temple album cover. While not being a spacerock album as such, the head-down full-on psychedelic jamming on tunes such as the instrumental “Lights” brings to mind the sounds of Sweden’s First band From Outer Space.
If there is any weak point to this album, it would have to be the vocals. There is nothing particularly bad about Stefan Koglek’s set of pipes, but his voice isn’t strong or distinctive enough to raise him up to the level of a Josh Homme or Ozzy Osbourne, and the lyrics seem less concerned with connecting with listeners than with providing another set of sounds in the instrumental mix. That aside, Colour Haze have plenty to offer fans of hard and heavy rock music, and “All” is a fine introduction to their melodic yet aggressive sound.
For more information you can visit the Colour Haze web site at: http://www.colourhaze.de.
Visit the Elektrohasch Records web site at: http://www.elektrohasch.de.
See footage of Colour Haze at Rockpalast on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip9wsxQ5b5g and http://www.youtube.com.com/watch?v=JtFWq1pUkGU
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Reviewed by Pat Albertson
Reviewed by Scott Heller