Saturday, June 20, 2009


downshift was a straight edge hardcore band from the SF bay area. they later went on to adopt a more metalcore sound, a few lineup changes, and a change of name to sworn vengeance.

below is a video of downshift playing the danville grange in 1997 that i got from eric (band founder and original bassist of downshift)'s blog. watching this video was such a trip back in time that i couldn't help but post it. this was one of the first shows i ever hardcore danced at. i was 14. see if you can spot me (hint: i was wearing a white gorilla biscuits hoodie with a black beanie and looked like i was about 3 feet tall hahaha). for me, watching old videos like this one creates the most indescribable mixture of feelings in the world. enjoy!

DOWNSHIFT live at the Grange Hall 1997 from Eric 31 on Vimeo.

there were some "personality conflicts," as eric refers to them in his blog, between members of downshift and another bay area band within the scene known as towards an end and the friends surrounding both bands. the resulting negative sentiments were voiced on their second demo, appropriately titled, "nineteen ninety hate." this was the beginning of the end for this era of the bay area hardcore scene, during which, the entire scene seemed to split in half and everyone chose sides. the whole thing escalated from songs to threats, then violence, and then ultimately to a whole bunch of kids dropping out; either due to being blacklisted from shows or developing a distaste for the negative turn the majority of the bay area hardcore scene had taken. more to come on towards an end in my next entry. ironically enough, after the scene moved on without towards an end, sworn vengeance would succumb to a similar fate, with certain members severing ties with a handful of people and bands involved in the bay area hardcore scene, including all bets off, a band sworn vengeance had done a split 7" with only a few years earlier. sworn vengeance recorded their final effort (and best material in my opinion) entitled "the outstretched arms of damnation" in 2001, set to be released through too damn hype records. the whole metalcore thing was really taking off at the time and this full-length had the potential to catapult them into a much larger level of success as a band. unfortunately the label couldn't afford the recording costs and the band would never see its release before calling it a day due to both internal and external conflicts in 2002. to download the unmastered version of this record, click below:
Sworn Vengeance - "The Outstretched Arms of Damnation"

after sworn vengeance, doug and carl (final lineup: guitar and bass, respectively) went on to form first blood and play in terror while other members went on to pursue other career interests. brian, ryan, and tony got back together with ryan's brother adam and neil dahwanto to play don perrott's memorial show with S.E.E.D. on february 16th, 2003, and another show in reno on oct. 26th, 2007. the reno show was not held in the bay area due, once again, to "personality conflicts."

for more info, the complete downshift/sworn vengeance biography can be found at the sworn vengeance myspace.
their entire mp3 discography can be found here.

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