Monday 14 November 2022

Nionde Plagan - Transformation

Labels: Moment Of Collapse

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 28 Oct 2022


1. Jag vill det här för oss

2. Resenär

3. Äta sova dö (deluxe edition)

4. Vanligt folk

5. Oro

6. Affirmation

One of the coolest things about writing the Zegema Beach Records roster series of reviews is finding out about all of the bands that are releasing new music. One such band is Sweden's Nionde Plagan, who recently released their newest record Transformation in October via Moment Of Collapse Records. I wrote about their 2015 album Frustration in May of last year and followed it up with a review of their 2017 split 10" with The World That Summer in May of this year. Nionde Plagan must have appreciated those write-ups because they contacted me directly about a month ago, which means a huge amount to me.

Nionde Plagan has always been pigeonholed amongst the screamo/post-hardcore movement of the 2010’s and onwards, but I feel that with Transformation, they’re moving beyond that. ‘Jag vill det här för oss’ begins in really beautiful fashion with gentle organ (I think) and guitar before clean vocals come in alongside subtle percussion. Just after the two-minute mark, Nionde Plagan banishes the feeling of calm with the help of dramatic, down-tempo heaviness and an off-kilter, yet still very rhythmic post-metal approach. I have to remind myself that this is still just the first song!.

After such a rousing and dramatic opener, ‘Resenär’ follows channeling a low-end that stands up against peers like The Ocean Collective while the brighter melody and screamed vocals are still very much trademark Nionde Plagan. I guess the reason for comparing this to The Ocean is because of it’s grandiosity at over twelve minutes in all. There’s definitely a more progressive side to the band’s music, albeit one that shares time with post-rock/metal influences (I guess they go hand-in-hand). The gang-chorus towards the end is utterly brilliant as well.

‘Äta sova dö (deluxe edition)’ hits top gear right from the off with a faster, louder sound that’s more rooted in hardcore and it’s glorious. I don’t know what makes it a “deluxe edition” of the song but it definitely grabs you with it’s crunching, dissonant form. Even when it retreats to an introspective mid-section, there’s still an abrasive soul in there. A soul with a heap of groove and bouncing energy. 

That bouncing energy is replaced by post-rock anxiousness on ‘Vanligt folk’ and if musical claustrophobia was really a thing, the opening bars of this song would be the definition. It doesn’t stay that way for too long though, as more rhythmic screamo takes over and breathes some life and light into the song for a time. I realise that there are different levels of heaviness in music and that this isn’t gonna rip your face off, but that’s not the point of Transformation. As the title suggests, this album is a transition to heavier and more atmospheric climbs. Time will tell but if you take it as it is this album is epic.

One thing that’s really struck me about this album is the guitar tones that Nionde Plagan employ throughout, as evidenced on penultimate song ‘Oro’, which in this case sounds quite scuzzy and distorted initially before settling down with added melody. The music on show here and throughout isn’t overly technical but is intricate and heartfelt. 

Album closer ‘Affirmation’ is apt not only in title but also because the music it contains is an affirmation of just how majestic this album is. For me, it’s the best song on Transformation. As It all comes to a close, I realise that taking my time over this review was the right thing to do. Letting this album wash over me a few times recently has made me appreciate it even more. The end of the year is fast approaching but there’s more than enough time for this record to be amongst your album-of-the-year lists. 

Transformation has been out a couple of weeks now and you can stream it, and purchase it on vinyl and/or digital formats from Nionde Plagan below:-

Nionde Plagan -

You can also buy copies from Moment Of Collapse Records here:- /

Moment Of Collapse Records -

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