It will have been six years when Colour Haze make their return to the London Desertfest stage in 2019, and by any measure, that’s far too long.

The German trio in whose image modern heavy psychedelia is in large part cast have issued two albums since playing the fest in 2013: 2014’s To the Highest Gods We Know and 2017’s In Her Garden. Both records affirmed their position as unflinching masters of the form, but also reinforced the key signal that their growth has never and likely will never abate for as long as they’re a band.

In Her Garden specifically did this with a progressive take on the trio’s signature tonal warmth, with guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek, bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald finding a new niche between heavy riffs and expansive arrangements, whether it’s strings, keys or horns integrated into their sound in a more fluid way than ever before. In the more than 20 years since they got their start, Colour Haze have become a signature influence for entire scenes, let alone individual bands, and that they’ve done so while remaining a creative force and never resting on past laurels only makes them all the more special.

And when you watch them on stage, there’s never a second of doubting their control. With a sonic reach that seems as infinite as their tones is spacious, a rhythmic fluidity that’s quite simply unmatched, and a presence that is nothing less than total ownership of every room that hosts them they are quite simply masters of the form, unmatched at what they do and no less crucial than any act of any generation you might want to compare them too. Yes, that’s hyperbole. It’s also absolutely true. One of the best bands on the planet, full stop.

Words: JJ Koczan