The German trio has been around since 1994 passing from a heavier style to a more melodic and subtle one.
This double CD/vinyl LP portrays live songs from a 2015 European tour. The tracks have not been edited and there has been no additional studio recording later; all the pieces are excerpted from various gigs and are mixed without interruptions as if we were attending one single concert. The differences can be told by paying attention to the sounds, for instance the hi-hat and the cymbals were microphoned lower in the German dates, or more easily when the singer recurs to French or German.
The first CD contains 7 tracks lasting over 58 minutes. "Periscope" is a sort of slowed down Kyuss devoid of vocals, whereas "Moon" is closer to Cream and Hendrix, tribal, with vocals reminding of Fine Young Cannibals and a gracious guitar solo. The corteous and formal interaction with the public leads to "Überall/Call", outlasting 10 minutes. It starts with a long arpeggio, drowsy, until the 70s Hard Rock takes over, rapid, mighty and without vocals. Afterwards the heavy riff is repeated among Lynyrd Skynyrd-influenced variations.
Initially instrumental, "She Said" lasts a good 17 minutes; the beginning is slow and recurs to a vaguely middle-Eastern tune, and then the distorted guitar makes way, and so do the drums, even if more shily. When the rare vocals intervene, the song reminds of Cream one more time, and the Stoner riffs arrive at the right to moment just like the icing on the cake. Unfortunately, the guitar solo wasn't performed too well in the initial part, while the Prog-Western bridge was. Lastly, a mention is deserved by the delicious Grand Funk Railroad/Hendrix/Blue Cheer central structure.
"Aquamaria" is an old composition of 11 minutes, whose first slice sounds like a warm-up jam session that grows and reaches a climax. It displays all the previous elements and also the team spirit the combo owns, especially in the more frantic and complex passages. The only shame goes to the horrible vocals in the finalè.
Less than 3 minutes compose "To the Highest Gods We Know", based on a simple distorted guitar constituting the prelude to "Circles", a piece that is sung, dreamy and contains bass lines that are more active than usual. It's the heaviest track of the album for sure and the one summing up the best of Colour Haze, surprising all listeners with a fiery denouement.
The second CD lasts about 73 minutes, of which over 13 are made by "Transformation": there is a typical unhurried kick-off, seeing the guitar veering to a nice and satisfying solo pretty soon; a second very long solo precedes a delicate and Jazzy fragment, interrupted by an intermezzo pillaging the Iron Maiden's debut album. There are several chiaroscuri, where the drummer more busy than in the remaining pieces, mostly in the ending acceleration.
Founded on a mid-tempo riff and a melodic middle section, "Grace" makes way to "Tempel", commencing mysteriously and next developing larger gradually in the Cream's path; all this with the aim of preparing the mood for a fast 70s-like guitar first and a granitical Stoner Metal riff at a later time.
"Love" utilizes coy bass lines, a Bluesy guitar, Jazzy drumming to introduce to the remaining 9 minutes. This lazy song comprises delightful bass picking and the nth 70s-disposed axe solo, followed by another more powerful, which is decidedly the finest of the whole double album. I appreciated a lot the intensity leading to the spoken words and piercing guitar emissions.
The mastodontical 26 minutes of "Peace Brothers and Sisters" show countless conventional alternating sonic design shapes and a sung part with vocals alà No Means No. Could guitar solos be missing here? Of course not, and these are of the Heavy-Blues type, some really raw. Cream appear again vocalwise, and after Jazz, Blues and Rock are alternated till the apex in the end.
The relatively brief "Get it on" shows a direct riff and delivers a song more massive and modern than the others. This hypnotic Stoner Metal in which the singer uses his lower register and the accents given by drums and guitar sound tight and original during the fast passages and the only sluggish unit
This second lot of songs is certainly heavier, but also more repetitive than the one on the first CD.
Not a perfect live album, but this is what a real concert is like. No fake or additional retouches will be found and this is something remarkable and rare nowadays, where the trend is the exact opposite. But don't forget that Colour Haze is one of the oldest German Stoner/Psychedelic Rock outfits still around 24 years after its establishment. The three-piece thoroughly know how to distinguish themselves from the average.