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Steve Unruh

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Steve Unruh Out Of The Ashes album cover
3.91 | 26 ratings | 2 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Out Of The Ashes, Part 1: Miracle Mile (16:03)
2. Out Of The Ashes, Part 2: Battle/Aftermath (10:21)
3. Out Of The Ashes, Part 3: Breaking Free (14:15)
4. Slowly As The Light Go Down (5:06)
5. Violin/Drumkit Solo (6:21)

Total time 52:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Unruh / vocals, acoustic, electric, classical, and electric classical guitars, electric bass (5-string), acoustic drumkit & misc. percussion, acoustic & electric violin, flute, and a little electronic percussion & synthesizers

Releases information

CD self-released (2004, US)

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STEVE UNRUH Out Of The Ashes ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STEVE UNRUH Out Of The Ashes reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Steve Unruh gives an impressive outing on this release that came out at the height of the war in Iraq. The stand out track on this album is the three part epic, simply titled Out of the Ashes. The story to this track I believe is that a man who doesn't want a part in the war is forced to go and see the horrors of it, and with strength, he comes out of it alive with a new sense of purpose and stories to tell. The lyrics to this song are fantastic, as is the music. Unruh plays every instrument on the album. That's right, from guitar to bass to drum to violin to percussion to vocal; everything is done by this musical genius. Unruh tends to stick with acoustic instruments, although cannot resist the urge to use electric guitar on the Battle/Aftermath section of Out of the Ashes.

The album opens with the Three Part, 40 minute epic Out of the Ashes. It begins with a bang, Unruh beginning with his acoustic precision and expertise. The violin and guitar work swirl together and create many different moods for this track. Most of it is instrumental, but still it is great work. My only complaint with the first part is that it tends to drag during the long acoustic breakdown section. Battle/Aftermath opens quietly, but quickly evolves into the heaviest section of the album. Featuring some electric guitar, and a mean solo from Unruh, the battle section of the song perfectly fits with the music. The drums and bass thump and bump like war tanks, and the guitars wail like the missiles and gun fire. This is my favorite part of the album, because of his great guitar work and his great vocals during this section. In Breaking Free, Unruh ends with a bang, with the hero returning home, and triumphant music in the background certainly fits with this section. In the end this track is one of the best epics ever conceived. Phenomenal work from Unruh here. But that's not all, there are two more songs after. One is a mellow track that follows Out of the Ashes. The other is a drum and violin solo section, in which Unruh reveals his virtuosity on both instruments, and finishes off a great album.

Overall, this is an album that should not be overlooked. There are so many good qualities on this album, and so many strengths that I do not see why not nobody else has heard this. My only problem with the album, mainly the title song, is that it tends to drag in the beginning and end, it would have been a perfect 32-34 minute track, but 40 is a little more ambitious than necessary. Unruh has a fantastic career ahead of him, and I wish him the best. 4/5.

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