Portland, OR stoner doom behemoths NETHER REGIONS recently released their debut full-length, Into the Breach. Heaviest ov heavy music portals The Obelisk, is currently streaming the album in full on its front page – take a listen here:
The record was recorded with Mike Lastra and Mark Ellsworth at Smegmatone in Portland, OR, and features a solid dose of fuzzed-out rock’n'groove for fans of High on Fire, Motorhead, and cheap bourbon. According to Hellride, “In addition to it’s massive sound, Joe’s vocals and the epic arrangements, Nether Regions doesn’t fall into the endless abyss of copycat, cookie cutter bands. They definitely have their own unique territory of sound staked out,” while To Eleven commented, ” Do you like massive, fuzzy riffing? Do you like Lemmy-esque vocal delivery? Yeah me too. Love it, even. Get this.”
Metal Psalter raved, “Standouts include “Blood Ritual”, “Your Name is Madness” and “Outrun the Sun”, but ingested as a whole there is no bitter pill to swallow here. Nether Regions might be well beyond the river Styx, but this brand of metal is right along the edges of the here and now and can be consumed in large, hungry doses. Enjoy the feast. ”
*Review copies/promo links of the record are available, and the band is always down for interviews. Get in touch!*
NETHER REGIONS is:
Joe Wickstrom-Bass, Vocals
Kyle Bates- Guitar
Ryan Moore -Drums
Everyone knows that Portland, OR is the new home of the heavy—and few can attest to this with more hindsight than Joe Wickstrom. As bassist/vocalist of Nether Regions, the man shares his disillusionment with the failures of mankind on this pale blue dot based purely on decades of raw personal experience that have brought him “into the breach” more than once. He’s been shot and stabbed for crying out loud—yet here is the brand new album from this real life Terminator.
Nether Regions (synonymous for both the lands beyond the river Styx AND a woman’s private parts) is a successor to Wickstrom’s previous (sober) stoner-oriented act Ditchliquor. Riffs are king here, ably provided by guitarist Kyle Bates—a true future star of Portland metal. While Wickstrom’s roots trail back to the 1990’s Satyricon club scene, Kyle is an eighteen year-old former student of Wickstrom’s. Now in more of a mentor-and-muse partnership, the two are bringing a four-fisted multigenerational approach to dirge-metal.
Wickstrom’s vocals have that hoarse, world-weariness that Lemmy and Matt Pike perfected. The riffs are part rolling thunder, part space age Cosmicism, and occasionally Eastern-tinged. Bate’s solos are particularly scorching, especially when one considers how wet behind the ears he ought to be. While Wickstrom nods at NWOBHM, Bates prods at post-rock. Influences in the middle ground are as disparate as Sonic Youth, Joy Division and all eras of black metal. In the final assay, these are garagantuan riff-metal outings that infuse Black Sabbath and Neurosis-style heaviness with a love of Beatles-inspired SONGWRITING. There’s no hanging on the hooks of a certain guitar tone or an air-brushed monster on the album cover. These tunes each possess an identity, a carefully considered arrangement, and a sense of timeless confidence.
In a day an age when other local stalwarts Red Fang, Rabbits, and YOB are enjoying international acclaim, it’s time for the next tier of Portland metal standard-bearers to ascend. Whether you take note or not, Wickstrom will forge ahead because that’s what badass motherfuckers do. As he’s wont to say, “Everything is bullshit” anyway. – NATHAN CARSON