Review Summary: Empire of Deception feels like a statement of intent from Westward, a collection of ten songs being used as evidence that they have evolved into something wildly distinctive.
The Empire of Deception, Westward’s follow-up to their debut album The Deadly Rapture of Space marks the band’s transformation into a fully-fledged rock force.
It opens with the title track ‘’Empire of Deception’’, which sets the tone for the rest of the album with a huge, atmospheric chorus that has a lot of theatricality in it.
‘’Cowboy Space Rock’’ is a term that has been bandied about quite a lot by the band and its fans and it will be hard to go unnoticed that the trio from Utah have absorbed diverse musical influences, with Muse’s space rock solos meeting progressive rock riffs reminiscent of the 70s and western trail music thrown in the mix as well. There’s more than a touch of Muse in the air on ’The Last Stand’ and ‘Force and Matter’, which are the lead singles from the album. The songs’ power can be found in the soaring vocals of Andrew Marshall, the silky bass lines provided by Karl Grimm and musical muscle courtesy of Matt Morisson on drums.
Throughout the album the vocals and back-up vocals blend perfectly with the album’s fast, upbeat tracks and frenzied guitar riffs. The music is the real draw but they are not shying away from singing about the most important matters. The lyrics revolve around technology taking over our lives and empires ‘’founded on absolute corruption’’.
The album closes with ‘’Fall from the Sky, a stark contrast to the rest of the album, a stripped down song that works hugely in vocalist Andrew Marshall’s favour, proving that he also has the ability to soothe the listener.
Empire of Deception feels like a statement of intent from Westward, a collection of ten songs being used as evidence that they have evolved into something wildly distinctive.