Friday, September 16, 2011

Sworn Vengeance - Abbadon

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Sworn Vengeance has been rumored to make an appearance live sometime later this year, so I thought it would be fitting to upload some of their material... to those that don’t know: Sworn Vengeance initially formed in 1996, recording and performing under their original name; Downshift. Brothers Eric and Marc Fortner (bass and drums respectively) had hooked up with Brian (Guitar) and Ryan (Vocals) after placing some “Musician’s Wanted” ads in the local classifieds. Over the next two years Downshift would frequently perform at shows throughout Northern California, releasing three very well-received demo tapes (“Flame Still Burns”, “Soul Stealer” & “Nineteen Ninety Hate”) in the process, as well as a split 7” EP with locals Strength By Strength.

By 1998, the band had experienced some line-up changes (specifically after changing bass players and adding a second guitarist) and their sound had already started to move in a new, much heavier direction. They soon decided to change their name to Sworn Vengeance. After recording some new tracks (as well as updating some old Downshift songs) the band released the “My Friend Violence” demo, their first ‘official’ release as Sworn Vengeance. The recording was well-received, and after gaining the attention of Mike Hood and West Coast Worldwide Records, the band quickly agreed to release their first full-length CD with WCWW.

Unfortunately Nate (their second/rhythm guitarist at the time) quit the band only a week prior to recording “Abbadon”, forcing Brian to handle guitar duties on his own. Regardless of member changes, SV (who at the time consisted of Marc, Brian, Ryan and Bob) was determined to push on and they entered the studio the following week. This CD was recorded back in February 1999 at EME Enterprises in Sacramento, CA by Matt Erich and Mike Hood. EME was definitely the staple go-to studio for most Hardcore bands in Northern California at the time and this production style defines that era to me…

Although this CD is not as polished as “Domination” and the music is not as complex as “The Outstretched Arms Of Damnation” this remains as one of my favorite Sworn Vengeance recordings. I’d definitely recommend this CD to anyone who likes HEAVY Hardcore (think: Earth Crisis, Hatebreed, Next Step Up, etc.) or to anyone that is interested in hearing what was happening in Northern California at the time. Do yourself a favor and check it out…


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