Sacred (Vinyl, CD)
Over more than the last 25 years, Munich, Germany’s Colour Haze have made themselves an institution in underground music. They are progenitors of a style of heavy psychedelia that has influenced two generations of players and counting, marked by warm tonality, fluid rhythms, and immersive melody, embodying a jam spirit while remaining rooted in classic progressive rock.
Led by founding guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek and longtime drummer Manfred Merwald, the band has revamped its lineup in the last few years to emerge as a four-piece, with Jan Faszbender on organ/synth and the newest addition, Mario Oberpucher on bass. In late 2022, Colour Haze released their 14th album, Sacred, through Koglek’s own Elektrohasch Schallplatten label.
The follow-up to 2019’s We Are, the latest offering not only introduced Oberpucher as a part of the studio process, but furthered the dynamic exchange between guitar and keys that has made Colour Haze’s latest works feel so adventurous. With a lyrical awareness of the world around them and a mindset critical but loving, the songs are fluid in their jammy foundations and convey the on-stage chemistry of Colour Haze as they continue, always, to grow.
Sacred is a salve for troubled years, but consistently finds ways to put the song first, encouraging the audience’s imagination with evocative and expressive instrumentalism and a serenity that holds firm even at the most raucous moments. Full of righteous twists and unexpected divergences, it nonetheless boasts an overarching groove and the depth of approach that fans know the band will always deliver.
Colour Haze are singular. There is only one. And they are one of the most crucial bands Europe’s heavy underground has ever produced. The ultimate impact of their work is unknowable, since their influence has yet to dwindle, but heavy psychedelic rock would not exist as it does today without them. Their discography is a path traced through landmarks, telling a gorgeous story of growth and commitment to ongoing progression that brings the band to the present day and, hopefully, beyond into a future that is inherently better for their being part of it. – JJ Koczan