Nuclear Blast Records
After decimating the sonic landscape with their self-titled debut in 2021, Go Ahead And Die are back for more with their new release Unhealthy Mechanisms.
For those of you – and I am sure that number is low – who have not heard of Go Ahead And Die, it is a savage metal assault delivered by the Father/Son team of Max Cavalera and Igor Amadeus Cavalera.
Ahhhh, THAT band I hear you sigh.
Fuck yes, THAT band.
Opening track Desert Carnage fills your ears with piercing feedback before new drummer Johnny Valles (Black Braid, Healing Magic) smashes his kit into instant submission amid a blanket of guitar that ushers Max screaming with venom and anger into the fray.
It is a brutal and uncompromising opening salvo that emphatically declares this ain’t gonna be no picnic…
The frenetic pace continues throughout the track as Igor joins his old man on vocals and between them they have enough vocal spite to raise an army of the undead. If music were once more to be classified then Unhealthy Mechanism would be X PLUS already…
A wicked breakdown towards the end of the track brings the sludge and bottom end to the fore, but that is short-lived as the Cavalera duo resume hostilities until we gain a moment’s respite only as the song snaps to a close.
Split Scalp spits fire straight up, a cool guitar riff from Max laying the foundations before he pulls back in time with Valles and things take a turn more suited to the faint of heart.
Not that Split Scalp is soft or slow, not by any means, but it is also not as aggressive as the first track. A tasty guitar solo adds a touch of spice before the mayhem returns with vengeance.
Go Ahead And Die are certainly not fucking around here, nor are they resting on the laurels of the name and reputation of their elder statesman.
Instead, they seem hell bent on forging their own path – and stand in their way if you dare!
Tumors doesn’t take any time to grow on you, an extended piece of feedback falling perilously close to the abyss as Max attacks his guitar while Igor smashes his bass with all the sensitivity of a big game hunter.
Max growls and barks his way into the song, a stutteringly haunting riff directing each shot fired in anger.
This song has much more groove than the previous tracks without losing its underlying sense of foreboding and contempt. It hastens in parts before easing back only long enough for the boys to reload the chamber and switch to semi-automatic as rapid-fired bolts of sonic intensity double down on themselves at will, creating a chaotic and eclectic sensibility that Go Ahead And Die are only just warming up.
Which they are as Drug O – Cop bursts out of the blocks with a raunchy underbelly complete with wailing sirens and a general sense of anarchic intent.
This is a more straightforward metal tune that will appeal to fans of Max’s earlier work. It still kicks more ass than Kostya Tszyu but also follows a more time honoured structure of classic metal, complete with guitar solo.
It’s so good you almost forget the cops are chasing you until that pesky siren fires up again…
There’s No Easy Way Out so far on this album, and why would you want there to be?
After more feedback tension Valles goes to town and back on his kit which triggers the Cavalera kids into action and once more the hounds of war are set free.
Clever use of echoed vocals add a haunting menace to the song, but not in a Casper The Friendly Ghost sense of haunting.
Max’s guitar chuggs constantly and mesmerizingly throughout but this track was written as a means of allowing Valles to show off his chops. Which he does in no uncertain terms and then some.
M.D.A (Most Dangerous Animal) could have been written for any of this trio of musical madmen and after a short guitar lick gives way to a steady drum pattern we are thrust into the album’s first real surprise as a demon fuelled spoken passage takes centre stage, seemingly setting the tone for an epic tale of death and destruction.
Which comes sooner rather than later as the whole band explodes in a fit of rage.
There’s more of a punk vibe going on here, which, when mixed with the all-out brutality coursing through the veins of Go Ahead And Die’s sonic palate makes for exhausting and compelling listening.
This shit is faster than Hussein Bolt on crack and packs 100 times more punch. Even the slower breakdowns have an air of expectancy around them with tensions remaining on high alert at all times.
Chasm could be a deep love song, but I highly doubt it.
But it is much sludgier than anything else so far.
For about twenty seconds, and then it gets bored of the niceties and plunges straight back into a sonic weapon of mass destruction. Gang vocals on this track accentuate the destructive nature of the dual tirade before things pull back once more exposing the submissiveness of sludge briefly before things get messy once more and the flames of battle are once more lit.
This song changes tempo repeatedly and to great effect, forging a desolate musical landscape that would not be out of place in the next Mad Max movie.
Cyber Slavery promises to pull the machines into line and opens with the sounds of war in the jungle that smashes its way into the forefront with a driving opening tirade that would have soldiers of war turning on themselves.
Max and Igor work well together as dual vocal pillars, with Igor seeming to revel in the opportunity to yell back at his Father in the name of music.
This song has a more industrial feel in keeping with the title and showcases yet another musical weapon in Go Ahead And Die’s impressive arsenal.
Blast Zone struts to life courtesy of a wicked drum fill that intensifies more with each snap of the snare.
It almost feels like you have been thrust into the blast zone alluded to in the song’s title as Max and Co set about dismantling everything you thought you knew about heavy music and rethreading the needle at their own pleasure.
This is another classic Max Cavalera track that proves his love for his older material still lingers. It just now has to compete with a myriad of other tastes and loves that seem to flow that touch more sweetly with his son at his side.
And, just like that, we arrive at the final song, Unhealthy Mechanisms.
It’s almost a bittersweet moment with my body and neck screaming for respite but my insatiable thirst for good music putting up a compelling argument to push through regardless.
A robotic, almost space-like passage makes me think of Battlestar Galactica for some reason, but that soon fades into the darkness as a cavalcade of fury swarms the bridge and commands respect.
If you thought Go Ahead And Die were going to leave us with a soft farewell then think again.
This track is every bit as unrelenting as the first, and, if anything, seems to have an even bigger point to prove. And I know damn sure that I am not going to question their intent.
Unhealthy Mechanism is much more than merely a sophomore effort from a band who would likely find an audience regardless of the quality of their music.
Instead, it is a welcome coming together of old-school metal infused with modern metal mayhem that redefines any notion that music should stay confined to its own era or genre.
With more than just a sprinkle of Cavalera magic.
*All reviews in HEAVY are just one person’s opinion of the album. We encourage honesty in reviews but just because our reviewer may or may not like/appreciate an album, that doesn’t mean their opinion is right! We encourage you to have a listen for yourself and make up your own minds!*