WESTWARD: The Empire of Deception


This band from Salt Lake City was quickly crowned by fans as playing “Cowboy Space Rock.” This is because Westward’s original songs are flavored with a mixture of western trail music combined with futuristic motifs and underlying tones that scream modern and progressive rock.

The album has a fresh sound that grabs the listener right from the start with synth stabs, soaring vocals, and tight playing that make your feet move and make you want to dance. The album includes 10 tracks which feature two singles; “The Last Stand” which has been released as their official lyric single for this album, and the official music video “Force and Matter.” Both songs are just massive and are perfectly chosen as singles from this album with the high energy and expert playing, they give the listener an idea of where this album is going. They are similar in sound to Muse and Radiohead, but manage to keep their own identity and run with it. The songs are not pretentious like some from those mentioned bands, these are concise and full of emotion and are so damn catchy that you can’t get the out of your head. “Machines” is one of my favorite songs on the album with the sky-high vocals, and the sound of new wave bands from the ‘80s, but still fresh enough to sound modern at the same time.

This album was a definite surprise to me, as I had not heard of this band before, but what an impression they made on me. I recommend this album and really hope that people will buy it and go see them live if they get the chance…I don’t want this much talent to fade away, they need you and will give us great things in the future, as well as this awesome album right now with your help.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/westward-empire-of-deception.html




TURNING VIRTUE: A Temporary Human Experience

Turning Virtue is a four-piece progressive rock group from Buffalo, NY. The band is made up of David Karczewski (Guitars, Keyboards), DPA (Bass), Carl Cino (Guitars), and Mark Zonder (Drums). The band enlisted their all-time favorite drummer, Mark Zonder (ex Fates Warning, current Warlord) to give them the power they needed. After finishing the recording at MFB studio they brought on arguably the finest mixing engineer in the world in Tim Palmer (Porcupine Tree, Pearl Jam, U2, Robert Plant, and David Bowie). Finally the CD was mastered by another great – Andy VanDette (Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Rush, Dream Theater, Fates Warning).

Prog rock….a dirty word for those of us who grew up in the age of punk and new wave, but a style that I listened to before then, and yes…….listen to still to this day. The band plays in the style of Pink Floyd at times, like on the song “Dreamin’,” but they do it without all of the effects and keyboards, more rock than prog at times. The songs are catchy and flow over you in wave after wave. The band plays tight and with emotion, showing the listener that they have the ability to carry you away and bring you to a place where your head will float and then get you to bang it like a metal show, especially on “Theody.” The songs are not overdone, nor over long, they have managed to reel in that part of prog and keep things interesting and tidy. The drumming does stand out, but the whole band plays so well together that you would think that they were a complete band for a long time, not just having a special drummer on the album. Zonder fits in so well and sounds terrific on here. The playing is tight and really grabs you, something that a lot of prog bands forget to do…..write songs to catch the listener, not just meander all over the place. The guitar playing is great, with great riffs and solos throughout, especially on “What’s True.” The production is clear and lets you hear the band’s playing and lets the band’s sound fill your ears with the emotional playing and the heartfelt singing.

The band shows that prog needn’t be overbearing and pretentious, it can have textures and still be catchy. This will be a band to keep your eyes open for, your ears open and wallet open to buy their music and see them live.