Where to Start: Colour Haze

I think when the smoke clears over the next decade or so, we’re going to see a lot of bands come down the line who cite Colour Haze as an influence. The German heavy psych trio have left an indelible mark on underground rock over the course of their 15-plus years together, and though they’ve all but disavowed their earliest works — albums like 1995’s Chopping Machine, 1998’s Seven and the 2000’s CO2 are all out of print and quite rare (though 1999’s Periscope was reissued on guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek‘s Elektrohasch Schallplatten imprint in 2003) — their latter-day material has made for incredible depth of listening and the strength of their playing continues to reach new heights.

So where to start? First, let it be said that the entire available discography is exceptional. 2008’s All was my favorite album of that year, and 2003’s Los Sounds de Krauts is nothing short of miraculous. You might think it strange then that I’m going with 2006’s Tempel as my pick for newcomers.

It’s a question of exclusion. On 2001’s Ewige Blumekraft, Koglek, bassist Philip Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald were still getting a feel for their sound. Los Sounds de Krauts, as I’ve said, is great, but it’s a double-CD, and might be too much to handle in terms of giving new listeners a full appreciation of what the band can do. Tempel‘s predecessor, the 2004 self-titled, is close, but the tracks aren’t as memorable.

And as for All, the only reason I didn’t pick that is because the album is better experienced if you’re already familiar with what the band has done before. It might be the best Colour Haze record to date (and I do include last year’s Burg Herzberg Live release in that), but you won’t know that unless you hear the others first — and especially hearing Tempel first, then going to All, I think that’s the best way to grasp how special Colour Haze really is. You get to hear the chemistry between Rasthofer, Merwald and Koglek and come to understand it’s really not all about the riffs, but about each instrument and how they play off each other. Perhaps even more important then where you get started is that you get started. Here’s Tempel opener “Aquamaria” to speed your way. Enjoy.

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12 Responses to “Where to Start: Colour Haze”

  1. paul says:

    I think it is a tie between temple and the Self titled.

  2. Stevhan The Invincible says:

    and CO2 may be no place to start but is an album full of legit Class A heavy psych stoner jams like no other.

    must say that I was a wee little left in the dark with ALL, still don’t really ‘get’ that album and because the others ar so damn good I just never listen to it.

    Also a little tip-off: on Los Natas ‘munchen sessions’ Koglek jams along on the last track, if you wanna learn something ’bout chemistry…

  3. UKGuy says:

    Have been meaning to post a thank you for the tip off to these guys. I’ve picked up a few albums since August and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Man, they know how you draw you in to an album. I started with All in the end (never been any good at following advice) but completely see your point about Tempel. I wasn’t sure about the “Kyuss meets the BeeGees” vibe to start with but am diggin’ it now. Anyway, thanks again. Off to see them in Feb too, babysitter permitting. Cheers :)

  4. Maxx Thordendal says:

    For me the self titled album and Tempel are my favorite records from them. Besides those 2 albums are in the top 10 of my all time favorite Stoner Metal. They truly are the spiritual successor of Kyuss

  5. Bart says:

    That is so true Maxx! They really are the spiritual successor of Kyuss. Just listen to Aquamaria here above and you know it!
    So I am very curious to your top ten stoner albums. It will be no surprise here that Kyuss tops at least my list. But Los Sounds de Krauts will be in it too, for sure!

  6. Jamie says:

    I saw them in March and they were fantastic their new album is sick sundancer is beautiful

  7. J.B says:

    It is Skydancer. :)

  8. Alex Seifred says:

    Thanks for posting your opinions and recommendations. This was really helpful. Can’t wait to dive in.

  9. BullHead says:

    Amazing band. I like all their stuff, except first two albums and “All” is my least favorite of their GREAT ones! The cream of the crop for me are “Ewige Blumekraft”, “She Said” and on top of them all their magnum opus “Los Sounds de Krauts”.

  10. Clint says:

    Thanks for the write up. This band is amazing, I’ve been a fan for almost 10 years and haven’t listened to them in a while. I was tooling around on guitar and made up a trippy little riff and thought “hmm, that sounds like Colour Haze, I gotta see what they’re up to these days”. Went and bought their latest album off iTunes.

    • Clint says:

      Follow up, after listening to ‘In Her Garden’. They are just as amazing as I remember. Great psychedelic riffs that make you feel like you’re already ripped. The inclusion of horns was surprising but it is very nicely done. I love these guys. And I’m asking myself why havent I seen them when they come to my town. I know they have, I just don’t wanna know or I’ll feel like shit more. I love Black Lilly and Islands. Man, there’s so many to love on this album, I cant really pick favorites.

  11. Clint says:

    OMG and the keyboards, how could I forget that they have those on the newest album I just listened to. Freakin awesome, it’s like we are getting all the coolest music from these guys that had to go and die on us in the 60s/70s/

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