Go Ahead And Die – “Go Ahead And Die” (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
‘…extreme times call for extreme music…’, so speaketh Max Cavalera, legendary icon of Sepultura, but also Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, Nailbomb and many other collaborations too numerous to mention! Never one to hold back on his socio-political views, recent times have given this fifty something vocalist / guitarist plenty to get all fired up over again, just as he was back in the 80s, 90s, and probably even when he settled down to married life. As such, with a title like Go Ahead And Die, you know that this will be Max at his angriest, and clearly possessed of the same hereditary angst is his son Igor Amadeus Cavalera who joins him on bass / vocals along with drummer Zach Coleman (Khemmis, Black Curse). And if you thought that Sepultura could rage, then nothing can prepare you for what this trio have to offer, as they mix old school death, thrash and punk with a respectable touch of early Celtic Frost on this hard to ignore all-star debut. Be warned, however, there is no lull in the 11 tracks here as they all come out fighting in what seems like an endless war, although the trademark Cavalera grooves, avant-garde riffs and boiling riotous anger definitely make this self-titled release one to remember! Indeed, as the massive raw riffs come powering in along with death grunts on ‘Isolated Desolated’, you gotta wonder if Tom Warrior is beaming with pride or blushing with envy, especially when the huge drums and bass come piling in as the aggro vocal trade-off between father and son brings nothing but napalm to the number. Drum rolling in on ‘Punisher’, decadent old school riffola and fretboard slides add to Coleman’s double bass intensity as rhyming gruff vocals, background roars and samples enhance the thick, cement mixer sound in all its oppressiveness, although starkly ending in the contrast of a wailing melancholic guitar sounding like a sorrowful cry that’s hard not to be moved by. With most of the material around the 3 to 4 minute mark, ‘Roadkill’ at 6 1/2 minutes is the album’s longest track, and a fitting closer given its disturbing topic of homelessness, not the professional beggar kind mind, but the global problem faced by millions who live hand to mouth on a daily basis, with barely a roof over their heads. As such, the song doesn’t hold back in weigh laying in with massive, reverb drenched riffs, hollow roars, booming bass, thudding tribal drums and relentless cymbal work as the groove works its way into your soul, possessing it before the whirring thrash stampede begins in nothing short of an all-out war against the human misery. Probably the angriest album this year, yet not without its obvious socially conscious conviction, it’s hard not to be captured by the all-embracing passion of Max Cavalera, who sounds like he could still take on the world – and win.