Brutal Renaissance: Rich Thurston (ex-Terror/Blood Has Been Shed) Talks Raising Up the High End Hardcore of Lowest

Between the deft, twisty post-hardcore tinged Deep Breath and the progressive/expansive brutality of Treason, it had already been a stellar couple years for multidimensional purveyor of extremity Rich Thurston, but the ex-Terror/Blood Has Been Shed/Culture lifer ain’t done yet: Along with Michael James Fisketti (Martyr AD/I Am Vengeance) he’s just dropped a killer riffs-as-piledrivers 7-inch via Blasphemour Records under the moniker Lowest.

Decibel recently reached out to Thurston to get the lowdown on Lowest, how he keeps so many hardcore irons in the fire, his past career as a professional MMA fighter, and where he goes from here…

Lowest by Lowest

So you’ve obviously been part of a slew of seminal projects and amazing records, yet I can’t help but feel as if this is maybe the most fruitful and impressive moment in your long underground music career. Is that how you feel?

I definitely have been pumping out some music that is for sure. March was the last show in Cincinnati. Seems like years now. Treason played with Kublai Khan and Terror. Once the governor shut the state down my job cut hours. While I was super happy I still had a job and an income it left me with lots of free time. Work then home. I had the Lowest stuff written and recorded musically for some time before the shutdown. I wasn’t quite sure what my plan was. I was sort of going for The Haunted-ish sound. I eventually started thinking about singers. I have been friends with Mike for close to twenty years. I asked if we would be down to do it. He loved the music and said, “Yes.” I just wanted to do it for myself. Write some songs and just throw it up on Bandcamp. After he did the vocals I was like, “Ok, this is something I want to keep doing.” I hit up Ryan at Blasphemour. It was the only label I asked about working with…It’s tuned to drop A which is different then anything else i’ve done. It has more of a groove oriented feel but I think it is super powerful. I needed someone to compliment that aggression vocally. Mike does that and more. He makes these songs what they are. He is the perfect fit for the music.

With the Deep Breath stuff I wrote and recorded all of it. All the instruments and vocals. Again, didn’t really know what if anything would come from it. I had worked with Irish Voodoo Records before with On Bodies and Justified Defiance. He was way into it so there will be a 7″ coming out in February. I feel like I just had a lot of riffs and ideas that wouldn’t work for Treason that I wanted to get recorded. I actually have two other projects I am planning on doing. I feel very fortunate to be able to still do this.

Alone Is Where We”ll Stay by DEEP BREATH

Is there a synergy between these projects? By which I mean, I suppose, do you find that by exploring different nuances via multiple avenues that you’re free to really lean in on the elementals?

I played in Blood Has Been Shed from 1998 to 2000. Corey Unger made me a better musician. I have told him this. He taught me how to play different things, showed me notes I didn’t know existed. I learned about songwriting and arranging. I took those lessons into all of the bands I have done since so these most recent bands were all approached the same way. I had different tones and arrangements for each. I had different feels for each. The origins and approach for creating them were the same.

You had a stretch as a professional MMA fighter. Does that inform how you’ve approached music in the ensuing years?

MMA is very regimented. I would do two a day [workouts] five days a week. It’s very detail oriented. Very specific moves and training. While I am a lot more loose in the writing process, meaning I don’t force anything and I just sorta play with riffs until something sticks, recording is a whole different animal. I’m all business. I love recording. I know some people actually hate it but really makes me happy. MMA made me happy. I loved the grind. The same attention to detail goes into the music I create.

Treason “True Believers” EP by New Age Records

It’s interesting, hardcore is so often seen as youth-centric and so many musicians within it burn bright and move on — either to more “rock” oriented projects or with life — and yet your excellent recent work, as well as several others, suggests to me there’s real value in experience and continuing to evolve within that world. Does that ring true for you?

I am so incredibly fortunate to be able to still do this. I remember my first band and our first practice like it was yesterday. Some of the new younger bands in the last say five years have truly inspired me and moved me. They give me the drive to keep and keep it interesting. I think people of my generation that are still into hardcore and metal have a unique view. We have seen bands come and go. Faces come and go. Genres come and go and come back again. I have taken a little bit of it all . From 1987 to present day and tried to use my experiences, both good and bad, and apply them to what I am doing. I come from a time with no internet. No bandcamps or soundclouds. Just kinkos and some wild ass ideas haha. A lot of bands don’t know that life. Today you can put a demo up on bandcamp and five thousand people can listen to it in a day. I think that has helped our music grow and become so much more than any of us thought it could. On the flipside it has given some people this sense of entitlement and an unrealistic view of themselves. It’s a give and take. I love hardcore and I love what hardcore has allowed me to experience over the years.

Lowest by Lowest

Finally, it’s a bit wide-ranging, but, as a corollary of the last question, what’s changed for you over the years in the scene? And what’s stayed the same?

Yeah the internet, for better or worse, had changed everything. The reach and the ability to get your music in people’s ears. Like I said before it also gives some this bullshit entitlement and that they can say anything with complete impunity with zero repercussions. Some have learned the hard way that isn’t true. I have seen layouts for records go from cut and paste at kinkos at 2 am to some of the most amazing visual creations. As far as social I think there have been a lot of things brought to the forefront that without that wide range of connection may be ignored or not believed. I know the old guy is supposed to complain and be like “back in my day” but I am really stoked on where we are and where its going. Sure some aspects suck but some shit sucked back then too. Overall I am proud to be apart of this community.

The post Brutal Renaissance: Rich Thurston (ex-Terror/Blood Has Been Shed) Talks Raising Up the High End Hardcore of Lowest appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Track Premiere: Forhist – ‘II’

Forhist, the new solo black metal project from Blut Aus Nord guitarist and vocalist Vindsval, doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel, but rather to embrace the genre’s past. Inspired by the ’90s Norwegian black metal scene, Vindsval takes a minimalist approach to aesthetics, simply naming each of the eight tracks with a corresponding Roman numeral so as not to take the focus from the music.

Today, Decibel partners with Forhist to stream “II,” the second track on Forhist. Whereas the first song, “I,” attempted to convey a dreamlike atmosphere, “II” is biting and cold, representing the aggressive side of the black metal scene Forhist is inspired by.

Those expecting a level of experimentation or avant garde based on Vindsval’s involvement with Blut Aus Nord will be disappointed, but those looking for a tried-and-true, faithful approach to black metal will find plenty to love about Forhist, out February 26 on Debemur Morti; “II” is streaming below.


The post Track Premiere: Forhist – ‘II’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Album Premiere: SNOW – ‘Fast N´Heavy Loud N´Slow’

If you like Black Flag and blurring genre lines at maximum volume, SNOW is for you. SNOW is a new sludge punk project from Rodrigo Neves (Tigersharks), with assistance from remote collaborators. While their influences are numerous, the band rages in the same battlegrounds inhabited by Black Flag’s legendary My War record. In his spirited performances on vocals/guitars/drums, Neves conjures the grit and grime of many seminal sludge releases. In a perfect example of honest advertising, SNOW’s debut is titled Fast N´Heavy Loud N´Slow. Decibel is psyched to share an exclusive stream of this raucous record, available for the first time today. Listen now, as Red Garage Records (operated by the album’s engineer and lead guitarist Andrez Machado) supports the record’s release.

From the first roaring riff of “Skate Fast Die Hard,” SNOW captures the primitive blasts of The Shrine. As the opening track bleeds into “Presado,” Neves’ vocals ride the barrier between 420 drone and hardcore barks. Although the intersection of hardcore punk and Sabbathian stoner doom helped create sludge, SNOW also remind the listener that grunge helped define the genre as well. While rippers like “Perfect Lies” and “Paradoxical Conflicts” keep the punk energy simmering, there’s a mid-paced stomp throughout the album that invokes the Seattle power-slop of Melvins. In “Crying Eyes,” they bridge the gap between sneering proto-punk like The Stooges and the misanthropic murk of Eyehategod. The album is an invigorating debut full of speed and swagger, honoring the many ingredients that shaped the sludge genre. Listen now, and improve your winter with SNOW.

Come get your good vibes from Hell by pressing play below.

Fast N‘ Heavy Loud N‘ Slow by SNOW

Pre-order SNOW’s LP from Bandcamp HERE

Follow SNOW on Facebook for news and updates HERE

The post Album Premiere: SNOW – ‘Fast N´Heavy Loud N´Slow’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.




Brisbane hard rock outfit Piston Fist are preparing for a northern assault this weekend with buddies Diskust, in a whirlwind tour that sees both bands play Townsville and Cairns in one weekend.


Vocalist/guitarist Geoff O’Leary sat down with HEAVY during the week to discuss the tour and more.


“We are frothing, we are absolutely frothing,” he enthused.

Continue reading PISTON FIST Set To Dominate FNQ at HEAVY Magazine – Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.


MIDNITE CITY Go Slightly Heavier With Upcoming Single


In a few short years, Midnite City have managed to find themselves atop the current resurgence of glam related hair metal, a feat extraordinary given the depth of emerging talent in that genre.


Their second album There Goes The Neighborhood was voted fifth best Melodic Rock Album of the year in Classic Rock magazine and a whirlwind and highly successful tour of Australia early last year cemented their reputation in this country.

Continue reading MIDNITE CITY Go Slightly Heavier With Upcoming Single at HEAVY Magazine – Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.


NERVOSA Release Latest Single


Newly-staffed femme thrash metal engine Nervosa have released their explosive third single “Under Ruins”, cut from the bands’ upcoming full-length album Perpetual Chaos which is out on January 22 via Napalm Records.


As a harbinger of their new record, Diva Satanica’s powerful and aggressive vocals draw the listener into the heavy vortex of Nervosa’s pure energy.

Continue reading NERVOSA Release Latest Single at HEAVY Magazine – Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.


BE9INE Release Forgotten EP In Memory Of Former Guitarist


Melbourne metal outfit Be9ine disbanded not long after the completion of their EP The Lesser Of Two Evils in 2004.


With the band no longer functioning none of the new material was released and has laid dormant for over 15 years.


Until now.


Following the tragic passing of guitarist Troy Evarard Lourens in 2018 Be9ine decided to revisit the EP and release it in Troy’s honour and memory.

Continue reading BE9INE Release Forgotten EP In Memory Of Former Guitarist at HEAVY Magazine – Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.


NO FACE NO CASE Release “Out of the Blue”


Czech nu-metal outfit No Face No Case are in the unusual position of having yet to perform live despite being a band for 12 months.


Despite COVID and lockdown, the band has managed to release three music videos, the latest of which is “Out Of The Blue”.


The song reflects the bands rise to prominence and is a look at what is wrong with the bands’ local scene told in uncompromising fashion.

Continue reading NO FACE NO CASE Release “Out of the Blue” at HEAVY Magazine – Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.


CHASING GHOSTS Drop First Single From EP

“Summer” is the first track from a forthcoming EP titled Homelands by Aboriginal led punk-rock band Chasing Ghosts.


Frontman Jimmy Kyle is a proud Koori man, a descendent of the Thungutti mob from the mid-north coast of NSW. He speaks and writes with a potent mind. Every track on the forthcoming EP is about real people and real situations, all of them born from intense real-life stories.

Continue reading CHASING GHOSTS Drop First Single From EP at HEAVY Magazine – Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.


Video Premiere: Varmia – ‘Upperan’

Polish pagan black metal quartet Varmia are ready to issue their third full-length in four years later this spring with Bal Lada. Recorded live in a 19th-century manor in Poland, the album showcases Varmia’s recognizable sound, one that they hone further on songs like “Upperan,” which features an appearance by Polish singer Jagna.

Jagna’s vocals add another layer to those provided by guitarist and main vocalist Lasota, matching the slower, discordant parts of “Upperan.” Musically, Varmia combine black metal with traditional folk instruments—like the goat horn and tagelharpa, a Scandinavian string instrument—in a way that rises and falls in energy and extremity.

“An ecstatic dance of flames as they devour the flesh,” Varmia tell Decibel about the song. “To disassemble the bones to leave the soul naked in the cold. Nothing brighter than the burning pyre. Nothing colder than the stone stained with the stream of blood. ‘Upperan’ in ancient Prussian language means ‘sacrifice.’ We performed the song at the castle where such stone still stands. Deep in the ground, veiled by the numbness of the centuries. Yet still pulsing with its coldness. It conducted these tones.”

Listen to “Upperan” below. Bal Lada is out March 12 on M-Theory.

The post Video Premiere: Varmia – ‘Upperan’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.