Go Ahead and Die – Go Ahead And Die
Released: June 11, 2021
Igor Amadeus Cavalera | Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Max Cavalera | Vocals, Guitar
Zach Coleman | Drums
Go Ahead and Die marks the sixth distinct project from metal legend Max Cavalera (ex-Sepultura, Soulfly, Nailbomb, Cavalera Conspiracy, Killer Be Killed), and like many of his others, is again a family affair BUT Igor Amadeus Cavalera, one of Max’s sons, is the brainchild behind Go Ahead and Die – a punk/hardcore/thrash/death metal beast that roars with their frustration at the state of the world. Recorded at a remote mountain property in Arizona, the duo wrote riffs and lyrics while watching horror movies. Drummer Zach Coleman only adds to the chaos with a blistering drum style that invokes raw 1980s punk. The result is a ferocious album that delivers 11 tracks that are all carefully considered variations on “fuck you.” With Max having so many bands on the go, GAAD has a lot to do to stand out and measure up. Fortunately, the injection of fresh Cavalera blood means there is a real sense of vibrant danger throughout the record.
‘Truckload Full of Bodies’ is just a flat out aural assault. Max and Igor go toe-to-toe with riffs and vocals, colliding in a track that is written to invoke terror in unsuspecting passengers on your morning commute. It is devastatingly heavy, with Igor’s bile soaked voice working particularly well on the breakdown. ‘I.C.E. Cage’, with its topical lyrics, also invoke a more straight death metal sound – with some well-timed bass and guitar solos to really capture the DIY 80s vibe. It is seriously pissed off and determined to make sure you know it. Similarly, ‘Punisher’ is just perfectly titled, with a variety of fast, doom and mid-paced riffs to bludgeon along with.
Songs that kick off with a punk riff, like ‘Toxic Freedom’, are closer to some of Max’s past material, such as Sepultura’s Chaos AD. But where that album is often skewed towards groove, GAAD prefers to stay on track and will beat the riff until fingers bleed. Coleman really gets his chance to enhance the songs when the riffs are more straightforward, whether he just keeps the tempo or adds an array of fills and tom work. ‘Isolated Desolated’ also builds intensity through the tempo changes, leading to that familiar Cavalera scream on the chorus and a serious thrash out halfway through. There is a bellow too that is the stuff of nightmares, like a dragon belching, as the dual frontmen empty out their frustrations on the microphone. The abbreviated title track ‘G.A.A.D’ also takes time to exploit the riff and the chanting of the band/album/song name is going to make for a memorable part of any live gigs they play.
‘Prophets Prey’ actually sounds like something off Roots, thanks to the riff, but also invokes the harder edge of recent Soulfly. It is the addition of Igor that takes it somewhere else, his crust punk vocals and screams transporting it out of the studio and into a suburban garage in Nowhereville. With Max famously playing a 4 string guitar, minus the bottom two strings, all the melodic playing and solos come from his son. The high pitched squeals he invokes aren’t designed to make the songs easier to listen to, but rather add to the gut wrench pound of the rhythm section. ‘El Cuco’ feels mentally heavy, an enormously weighty riff with little room for melody, until Igor eeks out a tap on his bottom strings to contrast the doom. The final passage contains voice samples that add to the horror filled ambience created by the music.
Another thing that makes GAAD different to Max’s other bands is that it comes from a punk, rather than thrash, base. The bass and drum intro to ‘Worth Less Than Piss’ is pure punk energy, in the vein of Dead Kennedys. Likewise ‘(In The) Slaughterline’ is a raging dedication to those “made to suffer, born to die”. The lyrics are a series of punk clichès but are delivered with ferocity, embedding the song with a sense of violence and rebellion. It ain’t Shakespeare’s sonnets, but it has its own poetic sensibility. ‘Roadkill’ is the monster at the end. At six-and-a-half minutes it uses a chugging riff over Coleman’s tribal drumming, reverb effects on the vocals and an encapsulation of the Go Ahead and Die attitude: “normally it is me against the world… wrongfully it’s the world against me.” It is a visceral closer, a mission statement of fear and pain, and a darn good headbanger.
Go Ahead and Die are the kind of band that will always live beneath the mainstream, even beyond popular metal acts. The Cavalera name will certainly, and justifiably, get some ears tuned in. This isn’t an album for the masses, it is grimey, political and violent. It does give Igor a platform though to show that whilst he is his father’s son, he has the songwriting skills to forge his own path. As the band name suggests, this is confronting music, designed to displease and vent anger – like an arrow pointed straight at the powerful from the hand of the oppressed. If you have something you need to get off your chest, fair to say Go Ahead and Die will have a song for you to roar.
Go Ahead and Die – Go Ahead and Die tracklisting
- Truckload Full of Bodies
- Toxic Freedom
- I.C.E. Cage
- Isolated Desolated
- Prophets Prey
- El Cuco
- Worth Less Than Piss
- (In The) Slaughterline
Don’t forget to suss out our review with Igor Amadeus Cavalera chatting all things Go Ahead And Die here