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Articles Home » 1998 Articles » Sacred Season - 1998 No Mans Land
Sacred Season - 1998 No Mans Land

ARTIST: Sacred Season
ALBUM: No Mans Land
LABEL: Point Music
SERIAL: Dat label 00 1998
YEAR: 1998


LINEUP: Christian Meier - bass, keyboards * Maarco Schultz - vocals, guitars * Wulf Rathke - bass * Sven Wilking - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 So Far * 02 Voices * 03 Save Her * 04 No Mans Land * 05 I Will Stay Forever * 06 I Believe * 07 Water For Your Flame * 08 So Much * 09 Love Is * 10 Kiss Goodnight * 11 Help Me Through My Life

I'm sure most of the AOR and hard rock community could have drifted through much of 1998 and 1999 in a blind haze; totally oblivious of what was going on in the scene. It really was a terrible state of affairs. Thankfully the scene nowadays is bereft of idiotic decision makers from record labels who had no clue what they were doing. During this era, much of the better music could be found on smaller labels, some of which were independent. Some were tied to larger labels who had distribution networks. Case in point with German band Sacred Season, who had a distribution deal with Point Music. Not that it counted for much, as Sacred Season's music is still hard to come by in the current era (2014 as at time of writing), as it was back in 1998. I remember seeing some of their songs being made available on some promo giveaway CD's as early as 1996, though the band had been existence long before then (their debut album was released in 1994); so I had a fair idea what these German prog meets hard rock exponents were up to. If you liked fellow German bands such as Everon and 2Hot4U, with a hint of 80's era Saga, then Sacred Season are up for discovery!

The Songs
Much of the material on 'No Mans Land' is very listenable and likeable. I'm sitting here on a hot summers day listening to this with a cool lager in one hand, thinking this is pretty reasonable. A hot summers day in Western Australia is hardly a sacred season though; in fact, we'd call it a curse, but with music this melodic and approachable, I am not one to complain even if I have a squadron of bush flies for company! There's a few decent songs here, the lead-off 'So Far' is a definite case in point, though the drums sound very ineffective. 'Voices' is at the lighter end of the scale, though highly melodic. 'Save Her' is another at the lighter end of things, which didn't quite hit the mark. Nor too the totally inoffensive title-track 'No Mans Land'. I'm getting concerned now, the interest factor is dropping to low levels. Things are retrieved with the rocking 'I Will Stay Forever' much better, but we've got a way to go still. We'll skip the totally boring ballad 'I Believe' and jump right into the pumping and pulsing 'Water For Your Flame'. This is more like it, though the drums still sound like crap. 'So Much' harks back to German styled pop rock/AOR from the late 80's; much of it rubbish to be honest and this isn't much better either. 'Love Is' reflects the unevenness of this album, though the song grows some balls on the chorus, with some tougher guitar lines, but generally, you're not going to get a lot of change out of this one. 'Kiss Goodnight' is one of the better AOR-ish styled songs here. It pushes along with a solid tempo. At least I know what this band is capable of. Unfortunately, things digress to the tedious 10 minute (albeit with a hidden track) 'Help Me Through My Life'. What were these guys thinking? How about 'Help Me Through This Awful Song'..

In Summary
If there is something to be said poste-haste about this album, is that the drum production is shite. Put it down to lack of funds for a decent drum engineer. There are some reasonable moments on 'No Mans Land' but not enough to save it. By and large, 1998 was a crap year, and Sacred Season simply reinforced what many already knew.

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#1 | swazi on December 22 2014 18:24:17
Hmmm....., I actually quite liked this one when I heard it a few years ago. Made me buy their other ones as well.
I will soon give it another spin to check things out.
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