HAZE — Hazecolor-Dia (review)

HAZE — Hazecolor-Dia album cover Album · 1971 · Heavy Psych Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
One of the many one and done obscurities from the early 70s Krautrock scene, HAZE didn’t leave a lot of clues about themselves. With some sources claiming their were from Germany and others that they were Swiss, this band will most likely remain a mystery unless former members spills the beans. Perhaps one of the newer reissues of the band’s one and only album HAZECOLOR DIA has liner notes that shed light on its origins but nevertheless HAZE is well known in the collector’s world for its album’s dynamic artwork sleeves designed by Walter Seyffrer who crafted it to look like a slide picture complete with a die-cut cover with an attached transparency photo center of the band on both sides of the album cover.

On the musical side of things HAZE deliver a strong dose of 60s inspired heavy psych which featured early Led Zeppelin inspired bluesy rock but also fit well into the early Krautrock scene with bombastic organs and hyperactive flute runs. While the compositions were fairly catchy and could rightfully exist in the world of hard rock, HAZE was clever in how they infused their songs with progressive touches fortified with a psychedelic haze. While the instrumentation of guitars, bass, organ and drums, the addition of the flute added a whole other level of psychedelia to the mix. I’m not sure if the original album featured credits for the flautist but he wasn’t featured on the cover and there seems to be no info regarding who it actually was. Another mystery indeed. This is a very soulful album with that German touch for sure.

With thundering guitar riffs that also offer energetic drum rolls and heavy distortion, HAZE juggled the aspects of 60s heavy psych with 70s hard rock and the early complexities of progressive rock thus making an interesting listening experience however what really puts HAZE over the top for me is the exaggerated vocal styles of lead singer Christian Scherler who had the knack to sound like Robert Plant at times and then take on a rather male version of Janis Joplin and then wail out some ear piercing falsettos that prognosticated some of the excesses of 1980s heavy metal. Despite all these vocal gymnastics, Scherler dished out these antics quite well and added that extra dimension that would otherwise delegate HAZE to the endless pile of generic heavy psych bands that existed at the same time.

This was one of those bands that could alternate between sloppy garage band nonchalantness and technical precision which offered a starting contract but for the most part this was a blues rock oriented band with no nonsense composiitons that tackled social issues in the lyric department. The extended tracks such as “Fast Career” and the lengthiest track “Decision” displayed the band’s ability to add all those extra touches which allowed entry to the prog universe. Clearly a work of the era from which it sprang, HAZECOLOR DIA will probably not go down as one of the most original or coveted albums of the early Krautrock scene but is a lot better than i expected. Luckily the album has found a remastered reissue so this is definitely an album i would gladly pick up.
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