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Colour Haze - In Her Garden CD (album) cover

IN HER GARDEN

Colour Haze

 

Krautrock

4.41 | 13 ratings

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Igor91
5 stars Colour Haze is a heavy psych rock band from Germany that has been a long-standing fixture of Europe's underground rock scene. They are often categorized as a "stoner Rock" band, and while they do display some of the bass-heavy guitar riffs associated with that genre, Colour Haze have much more to offer musically than your average "stoner rock" band. I have been a fan of this band for a good ten years or more, but I must admit that I was not that impressed with the band's 2014 album "To The Highest Gods We Know." After 20-plus years it seemed as though they had finally become a bit stale. Not that "To The Highest Gods We Know" was a bad album, it just seemed to lack something (exactly what I could not put my finger on). So, I said to myself, "Oh well, they had an excellent run, not may bands stay that fresh and relevant for as long as they did."

Fast forward to 2017 and I noticed that the band had released yet another new album. Due to my lackluster reaction to their previous effort I neglected to check out their new material right away. When I finally got around to checking it out, the music instantly grabbed my attention, yet it wasn't until after multiple listens that I became aware of how much I had underestimated Colour Haze. "In Her Garden" may be the best album of their long career, and it is certainly their most progressive.

The album opens with "Into Her Garden," which is really just a guitar intro to the next track, "Black Lilly." "Black Lilly" is a mid-paced rocker that features a cool, choppy riff from guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek. His vocals remain solid, but are more of an accompaniment to the music rather than a focus. What follows "Black Lilly" are several tracks, some instrumental, which are sewn together to form a wonderful tapestry of psychedelic rock. There are some familiar raga touches throughout provided by Koglek's guitar and guest musician Mario Oberpucher on sitar. Other guest musicians further enhance the music with Hammond Rhodes and modular, as well as horns, various strings and percussion. Koglek plays some of the most impressive soloing on an album in some time, while cohorts Phillip Rasthoper and Manfred Merwald lay down a fierce backdrop. Merwald's slightly jazzy drumming is as energetic as ever, and Rasthoper's bass keeps everything warm and toasty. There are some repeating themes that appear at various junctures in the album, which helps pull the whole album into one cohesive piece of music. The album closes with the two outstanding complementary tracks, "Skydancer" and "Skydance," the former featuring vocals and the latter being all instrumental. A superb, lively ending to a most enjoyable album that spans over 72 minutes.

"In Her Garden" is truly a thrilling ride. Let's face it, it's generally difficult to sit and listen to a double album and really enjoy it from start to finish. I feel "In Her Garden" is one of those albums that succeeds in being able to keep you satisfied all the way through. Which is an amazing feat for a band who has been at it for 25 years. The band has some albums that feature a few better songs on them than on "In Her Garden," but no album in their canon is this great throughout. And through it all, Colour Haze still sound like Colour Haze, just more refined. After much deliberation, I have concluded that this is a five star-worthy album of progressive psychedelic rock.

Igor91 | 5/5 |

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