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Steve Unruh - Out Of The Ashes CD (album) cover


Steve Unruh


Prog Folk

3.98 | 18 ratings

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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.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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