Sunday 16 May 2021

Nionde Plagan - Frustration

Labels: Dingleberry Records/Epileptic Media/Friendly Otter/Let Them Die Records/Moment Of Collapse Records/Through Love Records/Unlock Yourself Records/Upwind Productions/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 30 Oct 2015


1. Letargi

2. Oandligt

3. Van, I Forodelsens Stund?

4. Orkeslos

5. [mellanspel]

6. Nar Smafaglar Dor

7. Vida Horisonter

8. Samhorighet

9. Revolt

10. Leva Eller Do

It's been another chunk of time since I wrote one of these ZBR roster reviews. Time if flying and I've been in a state of flux recently, mainly down to work and lockdown fatigue. I'm trying to gee myself up though, so let's see how that goes. 'Frustration', the third full-length release from Swedish post-hardcore band Nionde Plagan was released in October of 2015. It was released on various formats with both Friendly Otter and Dingleberry Records putting it on tape, Moment Of Collapse releasing the cd version and a vinyl pressing coming from a huge collaboration of labels, featuring Dingleberry Records, Epileptic Media, Friendly Otter, Let Them Die Records, Through Love Records, Unlock Yourself Records, Upwind Productions and of course, Zegema Beach Records (info taken from Discogs, please inform me of any inaccuracies). 

As post-hardcore goes, Nionde Plagan’s stands out amongst the heaviest. The screams on opening song ‘Letargi’ are fierce, while the melody of the guitars seem at odds with how heavy and crushing they are. The percussion holds up well deeper in the mix, with cymbal crashes being the overriding layer. The abrupt ending to what is a cinematic intro song really sets the tone here.

‘Oandligt’ expands on NP’s sound, adding more melody and a signature Swedish sense of tone and song-writing, which brings to mind some of the country’s best known modern heavy bands, like Dark Tranquility, in the instrumentation sense anyway. It’s a truly expressive song that becomes hypnotic as it eventually fades out in slow and dramatic fashion.

The cross pollination of screamo and black metal in recent years has been much the same as any other union of sounds, but it seems as though NP might have been early-adopters in a sense. The high/low pitched screams on ‘Van, I Forodelsens Stund?’ certainly prove that. Now I know that name-dropping so many sub-genres can be boring, but there are certain reference points within them that I find comforting when writing. Needless to say, there’s much more to Nionde Plagan’s sound than comparing it to other forms of heavy music.

It’s becoming increasingly common for me to take a couple of days to write a review now. Usually, I can write one and publish it within a couple of hours but sometimes it takes longer. Not because the album in question isn’t grabbing me, but because I don’t feel I can do it justice in one sitting. I think Frustration is one of those albums. ‘Orkeslos’ takes the crown of being the album’s lengthiest song and it epitomises the atmospheric, almost-blackened post-hardcore/metal approach of Nionde Plagan. It is instrumental for a large amount of it’s running time, with melody being used more subtly, in turn making it a lot darker.

‘Orkeslos’ is followed by a calming, sample-led song called ‘[mellanspel]’, which draws a line between the album’s two halves. It’s simple and relaxing. After a very short pause, ‘Nav Smafaglar Dor’ drives out of the speakers with it’s earthy post-rock riffing and more considered percussive rhythms. The screams are still hoarse and powerful. Considering the volume of Swedish bands that ZBR worked with prior to this release, it’s immense how unique they all were. ‘Vida Horisonter’ brings the tone/feel that’s present in Envy’s sound, that feeling of anticipation and the release that grabs your attention. 

There’s such a driving intensity about Frustration that it feels as though all of the songs on it could have just been woven into one long song and they would have still sounded perfectly balanced, and in place. ‘Samhorighet’ hypnotises you with repeating riffs throughout, only changing at points and into other sections. The melody layered over the top provides a great soundscape when sitting alongside the more distant screams of the song’s latter half and it ends abruptly, in startling fashion, giving way to penultimate song ‘Revolt’. ‘Revolt’ feels more frantic with emoviolence-esque urgency. It still captures NP’s formula but in a more intense way.

Final track ‘Leva Eller Do’ feels like a properly fitting conclusion to the album. It doesn’t divert from NP’s overall sound too much. Instead, it builds on it in a way that feels much more climactic and free. Chances are, you’re probably already more than familiar with this release given that it’s now over five years old, so I’m no doubt preaching to the converted. If you’re not though and you like your screamo on the heavier side, Frustration still holds up really well and is worth your time. Track a copy down if you can!

You can stream and download Frustration directly from Nionde Plagan's bandcamp page below:-

Nionde Plagan -

Physical copies ares still available from the labels below:-

Friendly Otter -

Let Them Die Records -

Through Love Records -

Zegema Beach Records - CAN/INTL -

Dingleberry Records and Distribution -

Epileptic Media -

Friendly Otter -

Let The Die Records -

Moment Of Collapse Records -

Through Love Records -

Unlock Yourself Records -

Upwind Production -

Zegema Beach Records -

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