Salt Lake City’s Westward are gearing up for the release of their newest full length album, The Empire of Deception, in October.
Described as “cowboy space rock” by the band themselves, it may be hard to disagree. “Empire of Deception” opens the album with a spacey anthem that quickly transitions into the groovy, robotic “Enchantment”. “The Last Stand” is an epic song that fans of Muse (and maybe even The Dark Tower) would appreciate: “Your power, your power will fall, Your tower, will crumble and fall”.
Songs like “Machines” and “Force and Matter” is like Muse meets The Talking Heads, while “Time” kicks off with a driving guitar riff easing way into a fluttery vocal melody and soaring chorus: “Time waits for no one”.
“Redemption” and “Risk Factor 5” deliver more of the driving-yet-trippy sound that defines the first several tracks. The penultimate track, “Defiance” is a quieter, college rock-tinged tune that leads way into the acoustic closing track, “Fall From the Sky”.
Westward is a vital record that prog fans, or rock fans in general, should definitely give a chance.