Stratified by a sound that is best described as “Cowboy Space Rock,” prog rock group Westward diversifies themselves from the regular rock crowd by an intensified synth-based, pulsating cadence that has won them a loyal fan base.
Comprised of Andrew Marshall (guitar, vocals), Karl Grimm (bass, back up vocals), and Matt Morrison (drums), what is apparent from the get-go in their sound is a style that is drawn straight from such mainstream acts such as Queen and Muse.
In 2015, Westward released their debut album, The Deadly Rapture Of Space, and have been touring regularly through the north west ever since while also writing new material for their next album, The Empire Of Deception.
The record opens up with the title-track, “Empire Of Deception” that is a synth-based song that immediately zeros into the cosmic themes that is distinctly familiar with the band. An announcer sounds off in the introduction of the track. With epic and sweeping sounds to a theatrical measure, the operatic vocals definitely ignite some of the futuristic themes that get supported by soaring synthesizers and guitar-driven cadences.
“Enchanting” follows up with pounding guitars that ground this synth-led track. Underlying the theatrical undertones and space notated sound, the song is filled with fizzed out guitars and reverb-drenched, ominous, and somber tones. “Enchanting” also has giant guitars reeling around in a free-spirited manner with an uproarious guitar solo resounding towards the end of the track.
“The Last Stand” has a melodious, catchy vibe with an upbeat waltz feel to the shimmering sound. Fuzzy guitars and a fast drumming beat are the makeup to this dramatic outcome.
“Machines” has howling guitars accompany the operatic crooning. The snarling guitars are fused into the rapid drumming that definitely adds to the atmospheric sound and energized cadence. Reverb-filled guitars also contribute to the mesmerizing sound.
Bouncy beats keep an even paced tempo to the electric track, “Force And Matter.” On “Time,” the rhythmic bassline and melodic guitars add to the sweeping sound as the gigantic guitars fill the refrain. The track is about the ebb and flow of time as we try to forge an existence between the then and now.
On “Redemption,” the vocals are spewed out in a skittish and rapid fashion towards the refrain that recalls the operatic tones of Alien Ant Farm. Moody guitars fill the ambiance of this track with sonic flares in the relentless guitar solo that really makes this song resonate.
The vocals are hushed on “Risk Factor 5” and are sung in whispery tones towards the beginning of this track. The main part of the song reels with a highly energized sound that is paved with the clashing of guitars and drums.
The album slows down on “Defiance,” a soaring ballad that is filled with howling guitars and the snap of sure-fire drums. The track goes on to pick up in tempo mid-way into the song.
The closing song has a totally different vibe. On “Fall From The Sky,” the vocals appear alone on the track with the lone strumming from the acoustic guitar. The song has a simpler feel in this sparse arrangement. A melancholy cadence pervades the sad and somber tunes that sounds genuinely sweet. Marshall really belts out the tunes in this track, wearing his heart on his sleeve on this song. The harmonious melodies on the acoustic guitar are followed through with a lovely and graceful cadence. The track with its resounding quality will really harp on your heartstrings, here, altogether a different approach from the epic themes relied in the previous tracks.
Orchestrated with style and glamour, listeners will be locked into the powerful vocals and towering sounds that reaches into the emotional gamut of the human existence elicited here on The Empire Of Deception.
Westward features a daring form of rock music on their newest album filled with a fearless sound leaning towards an unearthly and mind-bending bent. This 10-song CD is dedicated to the motifs of time and space. A force of their own making, these radio-active soundscapes are rendered from a blur of fast drums, fuzzy guitars, and high-end operatic vocals.
Westward’s expansive sound navigates the terrain of inter-galactic proportions. The Empire of Deception is wired by some high energy performances from the band.
Surrender yourselves to Westward’s sound as they obliterate all your preconceived notions of rock music.
Be sure you have a listen to their dynamic prog rock album today!