On 9 July 2010, Norwegian newspapers announced that Hank von Helvete had decided to part ways with one of the most influential underground sinister punk rock bands of all time, Turbonegro. After spending 21 years with the Scandinavian helter skelter band, this came as a huge shock to their fans, especially after the success of albums such as ‘Retox’, ‘Party Animals’, and ‘Scandinavian Leather’ which all became seminal albums in the punk rock community. To be honest, when you look at any Turbonegro album that featured the voluptuous presence of Hank Von Helvete, you could argue that every single one of them had an enormous impact on the underground scene. When he left the band, we didn’t know what would become of Turbonegro, or, what would become of Hank Von Helvete himself.

To truly put into perspective the gravity of Hank’s debut solo album, we need to understand why this is such an important record in the first place. Turbonegro fans waited patiently for a new singer and a new record after Hank’s departure. In 2012 the wait was over, Turbonegro released, ‘Sexual Harassment’, and to the disappointment of many Turbo fans, this wasn’t the record we expected or wanted. It wasn’t necessarily a bad record, it just lacked something. It lacked filth, it lacked debauchery, it lacked danger, and most of all, it lacked the politically challenging and twisted lyrics that only Hank was capable of delivering. The same can be said for the follow up 2018 record, ‘RockNRoll Machine’.

On 31st August 2018, Hank was reborn as Hank Von Hell, and out of the darkness came a new bright white knight in shiny spandex armor donning a glistening white top hat. The world was introduced to an incredible rebirth and Hank Von Hells first solo single, ‘Bum To Bum’. Not only did this song signal the end of a dark age of pure underground rock and roll that had been so empty without the hairy hellion, but it also reignited a long lost flame that had been extinguished in many Turbo fans.

It’s hard to know where to even begin with Hank Von Hell’s debut album ‘Egomania’. The album opens with the title track, ‘Egomania’, and literally, within the first minute you just feel euphoric, you feel fulfilled, you feel like you’ve finally been given the injection of Hank Von Hell that you’d been missing ever since he left Turbonegro. It's like a dark summer anthem that could have easily been written by 'The Cult', but better. ‘Pretty Decent Exposure’ is the second track. It’s powerful, it’s exciting, it’s dark in places and an all-out punk rock and roll powerhouse. If these first two tracks don’t make you want to drink an entire crate of beer and go on a rampage terrorizing your city, then you’re probably dead inside and you should start listening to Hall & Oates.

‘Never Again’ shows a darker side to the album and seems to tell part of the story to Hanks missing years, a tale of regret and rebirth. One of the greatest aspects of Turbonegro tracks was always the combination of dark lyrics, dissonant chords, and powerful passionate melodies. After Hank left Turbo, these traits seemed to vanish from the bands sound and soul, however, they are very much present throughout ‘Egomania’ which makes you question just exactly how much of an impact Hank Von Hell actually had on the music itself, not just the lyrical content and sexy image.

Hank Von Hell - “Blood’ is not just a song, it’s an anthem.

I actually think this is the greatest song ever written. As we were writing this track, I felt that the lyrics needed to represent something great and meaningful for me. You know, something that was reflecting my life, and really ”hit home” so to speak. Then it came to me, something really personal and also a secret that I had been carrying for so many years that needed to come out. I am actually a shark."
The album itself was written by Hank Von Hell and Eric Bäckman aka (Cat Casino) from Deathstars. Cat’s guitar work on this record is absolute pure rock and roll from start to finish and combined with Hank’s vocals, unique style, and charismatic presence, this combination of musicianship makes for a seriously energetic & fresh sound. It’s not often you come across a guitarist as diverse as Cat, especially on a debut record with an artist they’ve never worked with to this extent before. It’s a true testament to great talent. The debut record from Hank Von Hell is essentially the Turbonegro album we all wanted be didn’t get. It makes you wonder just how inspirational Hank may have been to his former Norwegian counterparts.

This is exactly why ‘Egomania’ is such an important record, not because it’s just Hank’s debut, but because it’s a rebirth and a continuation of an underground glam punk rock and roll movement that just died in 2010 when he disappeared. ‘Egomania’ is, however, a record in its very own right, one that should not be treated as a follow on from Turbonegro, but a record that should be viewed as a new era of glam punk rock. It shows Hank Von Hell as an individual in his own element, a progressively developed artist and a true showman.

Egomania is a full on rock and roll record, however, there are some darker sides to the album and the final track, ‘Adios (where’s My Sombrero)’ is almost a thrash metal song that seems to tell the story of Hank Von Hell taking over the world or being reborn. 'Adios' is like a Mexican cinematic thrash metal song for a film about apocalyptic destruction, it’s insane.

Egomania is an incredible debut album from Hank Von Hell and it delivers just exactly what we all need, a good fucking time. In a world drowning in political correctness, terrible face tattoos, and social media, we all need a bit of Hank inside of us. Welcome back.

All Hail Hank Von Hell, the bitch is back...
Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!


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