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  • Writer's pictureCase Cockrell

New Magnetic North rings in the new year with fiery debut LP, Chemical

New Magnetic North is a Dallas act that has been through the wringer throughout their tenure as a band since 2009. After years of development, many lineup changes, and multiple roadblocks, the band has finally emerged with their debut LP that will serve as a worthy hard rock record for the Dallas scene.

New Magnetic North isn’t just taking pages out of the book from bands like Periphery or Tesseract on their new release Chemical. There’s a ton of diverse influences showing through on this release, and the result is a piece of hard rock nirvana that will have all local music fans raving. Jacob Aaron’s mystic musical vision shines through in a menacing form on this record. This record’s progression brings an inspiring take on progressive metal that could fit in on any bill in the metroplex.

Briefly before the pandemic shutdowns, I caught the Dallas act New Magnetic North playing a gig at the newly acclaimed venue known as the Will Call Bar in Deep Ellum, Texas, which is across the street from what used to be the glorious Curtain Club. When the band took the stage, the night’s overall energy seemed to transcend into something I had not experienced at a local show before. The band delivered a shift from the brand of metal that the Dallas local scene has become used to. New Magnetic North provides its brand of heavy music that electrifies every room it occupies, and now the band has this record to prove it.

Partnering with Dallas all-star producer Jim King, who has produced the likes of Duell, The Orange, and The House Harkonnen, Chemical is a substantial addition to the Dallas local scene. Jacob Aaron praised King for his persistence and wide array of knowledge on capturing a band at their best. “Without Jim King, there wouldn’t be an album of this magnitude to present. He ensured we could get off the grid and create a no-compromise body of art. We are grateful to him and love him for his sacrifices,” New Magnetic North frontman Jacob Aaron said.

“This was one of the first projects I worked on that wasn’t your straight up rock band.” Producer Jim King Said. Adding to King’s impressive production discography, Chemical adds a project that took on a lot of responsibility to make New Magnetic North’s musical vision into everything the band wanted it to be and more. “I learned to trust the artist’s vision. Jacob Aaron has so many ideas that he wanted to show up on the record, and I made every effort I could to make his vision a reality,” King said.

New Magnetic North comes in with all guns blazing with the opening number, “The Nihilist and the Idiot.” Released as a single, this track kicks off the record with this tune that sets a standard for the mayhem the listener is about to experience. The grooving guitar and drums on this track deliver a thesis for the rest of the record that signifies frontman/chief songwriter Jacob Aaron’s intention of creating something essential to future works. The easiest way to describe this track is that it is heavy with mainstream visibility. This album is something you can mosh to as well as something you can hear on the radio, and I hope we do hear some of these tracks through our car speakers soon enough. This pattern continues on tracks like “Lucky 13,” where the powerful vocal delivery combined with the often incredibly convoluted drum beats create a piece that screams, “Open up this pit!”

The best part about Chemical is that it flows seamlessly. The searing melodies that weave their way through this record are going to be an easy sell for all metalheads and rock fans alike. By the time the album reaches the title track “Chemical,” the band finds themselves firing on all cylinders. There isn’t a moment on this record that doesn’t sound inspired. Jacob Aaron showcases an arsenal of scorching riffs and striking compositions on this album. Aaron doesn’t waste a single moment on this record to showcase any idea that wouldn’t justify its long development period.

“And now the sky is falling,” Aaron declares on the track, “Subduction.” For the vast majority of 2020, live music as we know it was made a thing of the past. 2020 was a rough year for a lot of musicians. Many had planned to record and tour, and the pandemic put a stop to everything to the point where Deep Ellum, Texas, was quiet on multiple Saturday nights in a row. Not only is the track surprisingly relevant to the world’s current state, but its vocal delivery showcases Aaron’s monstrous range. This pattern continues on tracks like “Dedicated to the Machines,” and the unbridled aggression on “The Watchers.” This track shows New Magnetic North capturing themselves with lightning in a bottle, and if you listen to the drums on this track, you’ll likely think this as well.

Chemical is an exciting look into New Magnetic North’s future. If you’ve previously heard this band around town, this album will be an easy dive. If you haven’t hopped on the train yet, there’s no reason not to start with this new release.

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