Justin Lowe, the former guitarist of the metal band After The Burial, was found dead on Tuesday near the St. Croix River in Minnesota. He was 32.
On July 18th, 2015, the guitarist had been reported missing and his body was found on July 21st, below the Arcola High Bridge, a historic railroad bridge that spans the St. Croix River connecting Stillwater, Minnesota, to neighboring Somerset, Wisconsin.
Minneapolis, Minnesota-based newspaper The Star Tribune reported that “St. Croix County Chief Deputy Scott Knudson told the River Falls Journal that foul play was not suspected, and the cause of death appeared to be from a fall.” And, his vehicle was found on the Minnesota side of the bridge.
Lowe suddenly left After the Burial in June of 2015, as the band was recording their next project at the Machine Shop in New Jersey, according to The Star Tribune. He announced that he had left the band via a long, rambling Facebook post and in the post Lowe “accused “the record label, our manager, band, and who knows who else” of destroying his data, stealing from him and causing him physical harm,” according to The Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com.
In light of Lowe’s statement, the band took to their own Facebook page on June 25th, 2015, and wrote in part, “This is a very sad and hurtful situation for us to grasp, and unfortunately it is one we still don’t fully understand. Our dear friend, our brother onstage and off, has fallen into a very broken state of mind. A state that, despite our continued efforts, we have been powerless to get him out of.”
Next, the members of After The Burial went on to point out that after Lowe’s post, he went missing for the remainder of that day, and it took a coordinated effort between the band, and his family and friends, along with local law enforcement to bring the guitarist home safely, as the few people who were in contact with Lowe by phone believed that he “was unsafe in his current state of mind.”
And, they continued, writing:
“The context of his words and the thoughts he expressed came with as much surprise to us as it did to anyone, including his family and closest friends. These are thoughts he has kept hidden from everyone very well until now, and it’s so very unfortunate he felt he couldn’t reach out and talk to someone about the things that were affecting him before it got to this point.
Justin is ill, and right now he needs more than ever to be shown that the world is not against him.”
Lowe co-founded After The Burial, in 2004, with his high school classmate – and fellow guitarist – Trent Hafdahl. Lowe went on to play on the band’s four albums, and the “most recent two, 2010’s “In Dreams” and 2013’s “Wolves Within”, land[ed] on the Billboard hard rock chart,” according to Blabbermouth.
After the Burial had plans to take part in the Summer Slaughter Tour with Arch Enemy, which starts on July 28th in Denver, Colorado. As a part of that tour, the band has a hometown show in Minneapolis at the Skyway Theater that is scheduled for July 31st, 2015. At the time of this article’s publication, there has not been a formal announcement regarding whether or not the band will still take part in the Summer Slaughter Tour in light of Lowe’s death.