On October 14th, Utah rockers Westward will drop their second full-length album, The Empire of Deception. Formed in 2013, the band includes lead singer/guitarist Andrew Marshall, bassist Karl Grimm, and drummer Matt Morrison. Their 2015 debut The Deadly Rapture of Space proved to be a solid and eclectic showcase for what their fans have called “cowboy space rock,” an apt descriptor for Westward’s blend of modern rock and elements of western trail music. The band has also been noted for their charitable work, having teamed up with the Utah Jazz to raise funds for underprivileged children.

Stream “The Last Stand” Here

Buoyed by a strong rhythm section courtesy of Grimm and Morrison, Empire’s lead single “The Last Stand” begins with a jazzy, mid-tempo groove before rolling into full-bodied progressive rock with tinges of metal, highlighting Marshall’s vocal range as he effortlessly shuttles between octaves.

The song’s subject matter reflects the album’s futuristic, Metropolis-inspired cover art, centering on unfair hierarchical structures. It’s nothing revelatory, but it points to the group’s preoccupation with societal failings and rebellion, unifying much of their work under a thematic umbrella.

“Force and Matter” is another solid cut, a bit more reserved and measuredly paced than “The Last Stand” while maintaining a driving energy. Last week, the band released an accompanying music video, which you can check out below.

With shades of Muse and Rush, Westward has shown a knack for soaring, robust prog rock, so be on the lookout for The Empire of Deception when it drops next month. You can also stream or buy The Deadly Rapture of Space in its entirety on Bandcamp or Spotify.

Westward will celebrate the release of their sophomore effort with a show hosted at Salt Lake City’s Post Theater on October 14th. For any other info, including updates on upcoming tour dates, visit the band’s official website and various social media pages:

westwardtheband.com

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Pre-order the New Album Here

About The Author

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When not burning in the flames of existential despair, Daniel Bedard eats sandwiches and writes stuff sometimes.

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