Release Date: March 25, 2003
Reviewed by Vin Cherubino

Hardcore music continues to spread and gain the recognition it deserves, mostly through powerhouse acts such as Hatebreed, Biohazard, and Poison the Well. Produced by Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed), the enraged, mosh-inducing sound that Sworn Enemy belts out deserves the respect of hardcore fans across the globe.

As Real as It Gets is an explosive major label debut for the native NYC band. Sworn Enemy represents NYC hardcore with an intense assault on the hardships of life, expressing the fierce rage and animosity held on the inside towards those who impact our lives in a negative way. Ten tracks of unabated fury await those who are interested, and Sworn Enemy surpasses the expectations set upon them from previous hardcore veterans. Those amazed by the raw power and sound Hatebreed conjure up during their performances will be instantly hooked to Sworn Enemy, since the song structure and overall likeness of the band is similar to Hatebreed in many ways. The outlook of hope and prosperity enlaced within the outbursts of anger and hate helps those with similar views relate to the band on a personal level. The breakdowns within the tracks are volatile and moving, setting the stage for massive eruptions of emotion. The album is brutal, and should satisfy everyone interested in truly aggressive music.

There are also a few minor flaws in their music that also plague many other hardcore bands. The songs become somewhat repetitive after a continuous listen. Not only do they get repetitive, but the running time of the CD being just short of 35 minutes leaves the listener somewhat unsatisfied, looking for more. Sal’s raspy, screeching voice also becomes incredibly annoying at times, even though it provides a signature hook for him to be known by.

With this release, Sworn Enemy has easily established themselves as one of the premier acts of hardcore. If they can cut down on the high pitched growls, and have around 13-16 tracks on their next cd, they could even be something more…..

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