[Review] Steve Unruh – Precipice

Steve Unruh is a multi-instrumentalist who participates in the projects of Resistor, Samurai Of Prog and United Progressive Fraternity, but also has a solo career. In his albums he usually plays all the instruments and sings. “Precipice” is his ninth work, a self-released published on 13 July 2019, composed by 7 tracks. “Luxury Denial” begins with acoustic guitar and vocals, to then add bass, drums, synth and violin and the track increase energy. It is completed by a Tullish style of flute, to then change rhythm, developing the theme on several fronts. The voice alternates more lively moments with calmer ones. The combination of violin and flute is magnificent, before another moment of calm, the return of the voice and the ending. In “Uncharted Waters” after a piano and voice intro, the other instruments enter: bass, drums and violin, even here after a pause, the flute creates something magical. The piece closes with an excellent vocal proof. In “Send the Sunshine” guitar and energetic percussion are the counterpart to a violin and a flute very close to the sounds of Jethro Tull. Although they are all acoustic instruments, the expressed power is remarkable, like the sound in Prog style. “Reckoning” has a beginning of bass and hispanic guitar, an influence that remains throughout the song. Then enter the violin and percussion, and around the middle of the track another excellent flute test and before closing between various rhythm changes the song increases in intensity. “Suspension” is a passage of short duration and almost tropical rhythms that guides us towards “Constellation“. The beginning is with guitar and voice, the sound is soft, in the background the Sitar and the children’s voices and the violin creates the supporting melody. Even in the end, a relaxed atmosphere prevails. “Precipice” is the track that gives the title to the album, it begins with the voice acappella, as soon as they enter the field guitar, bass and drums it transforms and acquires power. The violin is added and after the flute, in a musical crescendo, a moment of calm and the song ends in an energetic and aggressive sound. A wonderful album, from all points of view, well elaborated, complex but at the same time accessible, acoustic but powerful and certainly Progressive. The parallels with Jethro Tull are inevitable, but Steve Unruh has his own personal style, matured over the years and with his experience both with bands and soloist. Listening to this work without knowing the artist, it seems a well-matched band, the surprising thing is the quality with which all the instruments are played by a single person. Recommended for all lovers of Folk-Prog, in line with Jethro Tull and Strawbs, even if the sound is simpler and more accessible, despite the compositional and executive level being very high. Over the years this artist has become a certainty, and every release confirms it, a truly excellent album.


1. Luxury Denial (10:38)
2. Uncharted Waters (4:18)
3. Send the Sunshine (5:41)
4. Reckoning (9:00)
5. Suspension (2:09)
6. Constellation (5:39)
7. Precipice (9:42)


Steve Unruh – All Instruments and Vocals

Steve Unruh |Official Website|Bandcamp|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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