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As a format with generally less rigorous expectations, the short-form EP is often a vestibule for innovation, experimentation, and unusual offerings. "Transitional" releases are interesting to me: cases where you can hear changes to a band's sound in the making before an album-length release fully documents it. Sweden's Night is poised to present one such EP: the A-side "Feeling it Everywhere" showcases a newer, more rock-oriented sound for the band, while the B-side "Kings of the Night" is an older, previously unrecorded song that's been cast into gleaming steel with an updated lineup and approach. Check out both tracks below right now.

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Both tunes are heavy rockers worthy of bearing Night's banner, with a pinch of magic and mystery applied to dazzling effect, but "Feeling it Everywhere" takes a different path than the band's most recent full-length Raft of the World -- the vocals are lower-pitched and more down-to-earth, while less urgent rhythms steer the song along with more room for nifty guitar melodies. "Kings of the Night," written slightly beforehand, wields higher-pitched vocals and a more reckless attack, but still does so with the warm retro appeal and groove that defines this new phase of the band's sound. Given the change of pace for Night so far, whatever comes next isn't likely to mirror this, but it ought to inherit from it -- this is an evolutionary mid-point encased in amber (well, wax, more likely) for us to admire.

We fired off some questions to the band -- check out our interview below.

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The EP is sort of a transitional release, in that it features a song written around the same time as your 2017 album Raft of the World, but also a newer song that sort of sets a new path for the band, "Feeling it Everywhere." What excites you most about the new direction?

Both songs were actually written around the last album, even if one was made before the recording of "Raft" and the other one was written just afterwards. I think we always want to change things up if even just a little bit. That is what is exciting about creating music and to learn and get inspired by new things. It’s what keeps making rock fun!

For this EP, Linus Fritzson of Ambush has joined up on drums -- what role has he played in the development of the new material?

He has his own style of playing which puts a stamp on the music alone. He is also a very accomplished musician overall which in turn made the creative process very fun and relaxed. He seemed to understand quite early where a lot of the ideas were going and since we share many of the same influences, it’s been great fun to create and have him in the band!

With three full-lengths to your name since 2012, your sound has already developed and changed a lot, most recently with Raft of the World. One of the biggest evolutions, in my opinion, is the vocals of Oskar Andersson, who's gradually gone from higher-pitched shrieks to the more classic-feeling vocals on the new material. How has your philosophy on vocal delivery changed as you've continued to put out albums?

Great to hear that! We have been trying to put more focus and effort into the vocals for every album absolutely, which also have changed the way a lot of the music is written. Which is with the vocals as the thing that should lead the song and then arrange the instruments thereafter, something we have gotten to learn along the way from working with different people and just writing a lot of songs.

The new material has a heavy proto-metal feel to it, which is one of my favorite sub-genres. Could you tell us about one or two of the band's favorite proto-metal releases from the past and why you love them?

Well we do get the proto-metal label on us quite a lot since the last album, but that's still really cool to hear from people! I would say we do listen to many of the older still heavy bands from where we draw inspiration from. Speaking for myself I would say that bands like Blue Oyster Cult, Bad Company, and Led Zeppelin for sure had an impact, but also stuff like Cheap trick, Thin Lizzy, and Boston on the more rock oriented side. It’s all about the combination of that heavy and instantly recognizable riffing together with the melodies and very well worked out vocals I would say.

As an American myself, our traditional metal scene these days is a bit limited, but Sweden seems like a hotspot -- what's it like in your scene these days? Is it on the rise?

The scene is great and living I would say. It seems like there is a new band coming up with a great album release every couple of months or sometimes even weeks, and not without mentioning the already established and more long running bands of the scene already. The music might not get much radio play or even end up on the biggest lists on Spotify for example, but it’s out there and the scene is always growing it seems, which is the most important part I would think!

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Feeling it Everywhere/Kings of the Night releases Friday via The Sign Records.

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