Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Steve Unruh - Out Of The Ashes CD (album) cover


Steve Unruh


Prog Folk

3.98 | 18 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Out of the Ashes was written shortly after the beginning of the Iraqi war. The title track is a three part suite totalling over 40 minutes. The first part. "Miracle Mile" is 16 minute steamroller. Steve Unruh's lyrics are fillied with despair and outrage. Sounding very Kevin Gilbert-like, vocally, the anger, pain and frustration pour out in the character isolated from having any control over the descions to fight in a questionable war, watched through glass, the television screen. The music is powerful, for mostly acoustic instruments, charging and rolling along. A force to be reckoned with, and then seguing to an acoustic guitar and emotive vocals. Unruh, a multi-instrumentalist and virtuouso, pulls off changes in tempo and direction with precision and flair that any full band would be in awe.

"Battle/Aftermath," part II of the suite, begins with a soft flute intro. Winds sweep through your ears as the battlefront makes its move. Violins build tension, powerful bass & drum offer the march beat, while violins and guitars swirl and engage in frenzied combat. Unruh unleashes some intricate stringed violence. The violins sounding like buzzsaws, the guitar chugs out power riffs, clanging like armor, while the bass and drums rip scattershot across the speakers. Aftermath finds the pain in an empty victory of economy over dignity. Brutally honest lyrics over distorted electric guitar, a very Neal Young styled anthem.

Part III Breaking Free reminds us of how the victor writes the history, but the truth is often very different. Unruh wants to make damn certain that the powerful remember that no matter what, you can't change the truth. Out of the Ashes ends with the rebirth of hope. Understand that knowing the truth is one small victory. The suite concludes with musically restating themes and really hitting the Ian Anderson/Guy Manning lyrical phrasing, gorgeous violin support as the tune builds to an uplifting closure. Very well done, Steve.

"Slowly as the Lights Go Down" is a breezy jazz number with guitar and smooth vocals.

Violin/Drumkit solo is just that. It takes flight with a swelling violin piece that drifts to a climax, the crowd cheer and the drums enter, as Unruh proves his facility on the skins. The piece is more of an afterthought, tacked on for those who might be interested.

Overall, Out of the Ashes is a perfect snapshot of an era, a challenging time in our lives. The musician is phenomenal and deserves wider acclaim. This is a worthy addition to any progheads collection.

Dan Bobrowski | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this STEVE UNRUH review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives