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19-11-2017 09:44
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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Semaja - 1983 No Burning Out
Semaja - 1983 No Burning Out

ARTIST: Semaja
ALBUM: No Burning Out
LABEL: Wind Music (Germany)
YEAR: 1983
REISSUE: 1984, Refuge (USA), R84001


LINEUP: Markus Egger - lead vocals * Ulrich Plinke - guitars, vocals * Harald Nagel - drums * Claus Feldmann - keyboards * Wilfried Herrmann - bass, vocals * Klaus Hermann - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hey Friend * 02 Green Land * 03 He's Real * 04 Not Too Late * 05 Flip Flop * 06 No Burning Out * 07 No, No * 08 Karen * 09 Behind The Curtain

Having recently reviewed German prog band Eden and their debut album 'Erwartung', we thought it time to take a look at one of the band's offshoots - Semaja. Meaning 'God Hears', Semaja led by Eden's Markus Egger avoided the usual church and Christian music festivals in favor of secular clubs and concert halls which was almost unheard of at the time. Their first album 'Hear My Cry' released on the little known Wind Music in 1980 was a well balanced progressive rock album with a commercial edge moving between Santana and Pink Floyd styles. A great album for sure and these days highly collectable, Semaja's follow-up 'No Burning Out' was released in Germany, but also and quite surprisingly in America on the Refuge label. Clearly signed by an A&R man with balls, my guess is Christian radio were dumbfounded, not quite knowing what to do with Semaja whose music was far more complex than the usual CCM tripe so popular at the time.

The Songs
'No Burning Out' does move the band further into commercial territory and lead off cut 'Hey Friend' is an odd mixture between Eddy Grant and Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' with touches of AOR. Sound eclectic? It is and a splendid start with 'Green Land' and 'He's Real' offering up solid melodic rockers and while Markus Egger's English vocals can be a tough sell, repeated listens are easier to take with kudos to drummer Harald Nagel and percussionist Klaus Hermann, both of whom give the music an exciting exotic flavour that's hard to resist. Side two's title track has a huge chorus with soaring keys that's sure to please GD readers and while 'No, No' is a little too quirky for its own good, the 80's Genesis influence of 'Karen' and the REO styled (dig that organ!) power ballad 'Behind The Curtain' provides enough good moments to recommend 'No Burning Out' to any melodic rock fan not afraid to include a Christian album in his or her collection.

In Summary
Apparently the band called it a day in 1984, but released a live recording 'Semaja Live' in their wake. I've never seen a copy, nor have I had the pleasure to hear it, but clips on Youtube show Semaja to be a hot unit in concert with chops to spare, so naturally the hunt for this rarity is on!

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