Author: Chris Wickham
Netherstorm is the name given to a number of shattered land fragments floating off north-eastern Outland. The zone is ridden by a continuous arcane storm which is tearing apart the dimensional barrier which separates the physical world and the Twisting Nether, and the sky is dominated with a thick violet haze and bands of mystical energy. The blood elves have taken advantage of this fragility by siphoning mana from the Twisting Nether using huge manaforges for Prince Kael'thas who resides in the eastern Tempest Keep. This syphoning process only exacerbates the instability of the Netherstorm. Elsewhere, wild creatures such as nether rays and mana wyrms roam the fragments, while goblins have established a presence in the bases of Area 52 and Cosmowrench in order to conduct research and experiments within the mystical environment.
The music of this storm-stricken zone has a very ethereal aura to it, reflecting the enigmatic nature of the zone and its inhabitants. The zone's ambience is more akin to a soundscape than a conventional musical composition, utilising numerous natural and artificial sounds such as wind and lightning strikes to create a tumultuous yet mystic atmosphere. Any sounds that resemble pitches are presented on continuous synthesiser pads and are slow to evolve or develop, much like the magical storm that plagues this region. Many of these pitches are low and brooding, but other are higher and possess an indistinct or distant quality. It is almost fitting that the music for Netherstorm does not present us with a clear melody or harmony as the region is in such a state of deterioration. Its use of artificially-generated timbres rather than conventional instrumentation creates an impression of the use of machinery or energy. This creates an interesting parallel with the purpose-built manaforges and ecodomes that now populate the broken landscape.