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I've rather liked Norther for awhile now, though they've never really had a standalone great album (with the exception of perhaps Dreams of Endless War). The oddly titled "N" doesn't change that, but it does provide Norther fans with five new reasons to like this band.
Those five reasons are tracks eight through twelve.
When I first listened to this album, I was greeted with "My Antichrist." This song introduces a slightly altered Norther with more significant keyboard lines, heavier, more midpaced guitars, and clean vocals simmilar to older Norther songs like "Omen" and "Day Zero." Despite some much needed updates to their style, the song plods along and never does much to capture your interest. "Frozen Angel," "Saviour," and "To Hell" have some good moments, but other than that, the rest of the first seven songs trudge through banality and do little to justify your time.
Then comes "Always and Never." This song starts with a wonderful distorted keyboard line and breaks into some of the best music Norther has ever put out. The keyboards make this song, bridging the vocal sections with excitment and agression and never sounding the least bit cheesy. They accent the chorus perfectly, adding melody and brutality.
"Tell Me Why" follows with much of the same high quality songwriting and is nearly as good as it's predecessor. "If You Go" is a slowerer song with a bunch of clean singing, which it builds up from. This is a great step in a new direction for Norther, assuming that they decide to follow it. "Self-Righteous Fuck" is a thrashy one with a really bare guitar line. "Forever and Ever" has some great epic guitar leads and is overall very midpaced.
These last five songs make the album worth your while. Fans of Norther will find something to enjoy here, even if it isn't all the quality one would hope for.