Review: Rusty Sparks- I Am

It’s been a few years since From These Ruins called it a career and their fans- “The Brotherhood” have been sitting idly by, waiting for movement from the band’s members. Enter 2023 and singer Rusty Sparks is back with a new, self-titled EP, simply titled I Am…

While it sits at just three tracks, there’s a lot to digest and it’s a vast encompassment of musical goodness. Simply put, it’s a hoot to sit and listen to and you’ll need a few listens to really get the full experience. 

“Second Death” kicks it off in powerful fashion. If you were a fan of FTR, you’ll feel right at home with this track. It has the dramatic build up of an intro and blasts right into a heavy metal onslaught that will kick you in the nuts, ice them and obliterate you once again. It features Sparks showing off his unclean vocals at their best. It has a dark, eerie, taunting bell rhythm foundation mixed with some of the most brooding, dirty guitars you’ll find. 

Then, just when you think you have the song figured out, Sparks slows it down and showcases some absolutely gorgeous vocals before kicking it back up a notch. This one has so much going on, you can find something new on each listen. 

After “Alone” slows it down in a slow and artistic track that is purely Sparks letting his vulnerable side out, “Nothing” finishes things up, opening with the bells that “Second Death” featured and is an emotionally-charged track that features spoken word mixed with clean and unclean vocals and is a statement track meant to really make you think. The track builds and builds until it hits the max but isn’t overwhelming either. 

Nothing Rusty Sparks writes is music for the sake of music. The man truly cares about his listeners’ mortality, spirituality, mental health and eternal well-being. I Am… is Sparks’ way of telling fans what’s on his heart but also trying to speak to their hearts as well. If you’re easily shaken or don’t like it put to you bluntly to you, this isn’t the EP for you- or maybe it is. This is music with a purpose and is Rusty Sparks at his best. 

Rating: 8/10

-Reggie Edwards