Friday, February 6, 2015

Colour Haze- To the Highest Gods we Know (Elektrohasch 010)

Colour Haze is back with their 10th record and this time a single LP with five songs. Again, it was recorded all analog at the bands own studio, with a focus on the best analog sound they can get. There is really no need to introduce this three piece band, although they are assisted by some special guests on modular synth, flutes, horns, strings, sounds of wind and water.. Circles starts things off with some slow building guitar with the tone you all know before Mani and Philip get pulled into the fold. Stefan’s vocal is soft and relaxed and occasionally doubletracked. The track just glides along, flowing like a river until the riff that you hear in 50% of all the bands songs, appears and the intensity goes up and the drums are beginning to get lost as the guitar is louder and a violin comes in for a brief 30 seconds or so. Paradise starts off with a really familiar riff, classic Colour Haze sound and tone, is it Zen or Roses that they borrow from??  Short 3½ min song, perhaps a single? Ûberall is instrumental and starts slowly with just guitar for about 2mins before the rest of the band kick in at a mid-tempo. There is some modular synth somewhere (very low at the beginning?) but the track ins 8 ½ mins of riffing mostly. Call, features Philip on some droning Hammond throughout the track but you can hear him best at the beginning. This track is very stripped down with just Stefan playing a riff with a really cool guitar tone and a vocal sung over it. At 6½ mins, the rest of the band kicks in for another 1½ mins of riffs you have heard before. The only real highlight of the record for me is the title track, which ends the album which is a brilliant like CH Spanish inspired track, starting with some acoustic guitar and later drums, violin and horns, etc... Amazing track.

          I have to say besides the last song, I did not really get into this album much. Probably my least favourite CH album since Chopping Block. It just seems like they have nothing new to say or express until the end of the record.  The artwork is just very stripped down and simple and just not that interesting and the songs just seem to recycled. Sure, they throw in a violin here and some strings or some organ or modular synth there but Stefan plays very little new or interesting guitar and hardly any solos and Mani is mixed way down in the mix. I liked the sound of the last record much more. Hum… Sorry guys.. I just did not really get it, I guess…

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