on 8 November 2012
Seemingly bored of the 'Deathened Power Metal' style of their earlier albums, Norther chose to pursue a thrashier direction with N. Rather obviously influenced by Metallica, Megadeath and friends, it doesn't really stand out as anything particularly special and might come as a disappointment to fans of their earlier work. Also thrown into the mix are Kristian Ranta's clean vocals, which add something a bit different to the music, particularly in songs such as 'Frozen Angel' and 'If You Go'.
Of course, there are a few interesting twists here. Firstly, 'We Rock' harks back to the classic Norther sound, and is a fun, memorable track. Secondly, Jukka Koskinen's industrial-influenced compositional efforts, 'Down' and 'Always and Never', are also stand-out tracks that give the album a bit more character. However, most of the rest of the album either descends into forgettable thrashy messiness with soulless guitar shreds, or just tries too hard to be something different (see tracks such as 'In Hell' and ''She's My Saviour').
Also, if you can buy the special edition of the album, three songs from the 'No Way Back' EP (the fourth is already on the album) are included as bonus tracks, the latter two being better than most songs on the main album.
Overall, *** for the regular edition, **** for the special edition. A good album, but not Norther's best or most essential.
Best songs - 'We Rock', 'Down', 'Frozen Angel', 'No Way Back' (special edition only).