Praise for South of Salem:
“…fuzzy, Hendrix-ian doom metal riffs” – NPR.org
“…an unyielding force that slowly oozes out of the speakers, carrying jagged riffs and trudging rhythms that stretch on for upward of 12 minutes per song. It’s not hyperbolic in the least to tag the album as “epic.” – Willamette Week
“South of Salem incorporates the band's intensely dosed musical madness with the enchanting fury of Plotkin's vocals that, for lack of any better word, are simply bewitching.” – Portland Mercury
"...punishing slabs of phlegmatic, groove laden grunge lying cheek to jowl with some beautifully light headed moments in the vein of classic Sabbath and especially Welsh rockers, Budgie." - Terrorizer
Witch Mountain was formed in Portland, OR in 1997 by Rob Wrong (Iommi Stubbs, ex-M99) and Nate "Nanotear" Carson (Point Line Plane, Two Ton Boa, Sunn0))) collaborator, etc). By 2000, the groundwork had been laid, the demo Homegrown Doom was remastered and released in Europe, and Dave Hoopaugh (Iommi Stubbs, Comavoid, Towers) was brought in to be the final bass player after a string of many.
Debut album ...Come the Mountain was released to critical acclaim in 2001. Man's Ruin tried to license it stateside, but they went under before it could happen. The first printing sold out in 2 months, and an expanded edition was released with bonus tracks composed for the unreleased PC/Dreamcast video game "Shrapnel".
Between 1998 and 2002 Witch Mountain became a staple in the Northwest and on the touring circuit, gigging with the likes of Lost Goat, Bongzilla, Goatsnake, Acid King, High on Fire, Orange Goblin, Electric Wizard, YOB, Unsane, EyeHateGod, Spirit Caravan, Alabama Thunderpussy, Weedeater, Clutch, Unida, Solitude Aeturnus, Unorthodox, Sour Vein, Isis, Soilent Green, Karma to Burn, Nebula, Penance, Raging Slab, Warhorse, Agalloch, Thrones, etc, etc.
In 2002, Witch Mountain toured with Eternal Elysium from Japan. After that, a period of hibernation was in effect. Rob and Dave had children to raise and families to look after. Nate was touring and recording constantly with Point Line Plane, Two Ton Boa, and Sunn 0))).
In 2005, WM shook the dust off for an appearance with the mighty YOB (their last Portland gig before their own hiatus) and Totimoshi. Seasonal gigs followed with Acid King, Atomic Bitchwax, Wolves in the Throneroom, and others. It became clear that the chemistry was better than ever, and the songs had really bloomed over time. 2006-2007 marked the serious return of Witch Mountain to Portland stages as a trio with new songs and veteran tone and ability.
In 2009, Witch Mountain finally found a voice to match its mighty instrumental prowess. Uta Plotkin keeps the tunes strong and melodic, and the music sounds better than ever. With Uta in tow, WM resumed its history of gigging strong with the likes of Pentagram,Saint Vitus, Jucifer, Ludicra, Lesbian, Slough Feg and the reformed YOB.
2010 was an auspicious year for WM as the sophomore album South of Salem was finally recorded at Smegma studio with mega-producer Billy Anderson. Mastering was handled by Mell Dettmer. The results speak for themselves. In September of 2010, Adult Swim launched its METAL SWIM compilation, which featured the brand new WM track “Veil of the Forgotten” amongst tracks by Boris, Torche, Kylesa, Isis, Ludicra, and other underground metal luminaries.
In 2011, Witch Mountain got back on road, touring with Christian Mistress to a climactic SXSW appearance at the Nanotear Showcase alongside old friends YOB, Agalloch, and Amber Asylum. The South of Salem LP was officially self-released by the band in April, and the record release show garnered massive local press in Portland, as well as serious nods from NPR and beyond.
Oregon is a stronghold for heavy music and its fans. In the valley between YOB’s cosmic doom and Red Fang’s brash party rawk, there lies a mountain…