Hannibal Books, 2021
170 x 220 mm, colour on spine, image on front and silk screen
128 pages | English
“Hellbangers is an affirmation that at its core shows the strength and power of the metal community in Africa, and how it connects around the world.
These brilliant and exciting photographs draw us into a special and unique story. I feel particularly engaged by the connection with the cradle of civilisation, from the dawn of humanity to the present day, through this lens of metal life as captured by Pep.
The love and devotion to the music that these wonderful maniacs show scream out to us with absolute conviction – we are all united by the essence of the metal heart and spirit of the Hellbangers!”
— Rob Halford (Judas Priest)
Photographer Pep Bonet (1974, Mallorca) has been following Overthrust, a heavy metal band from Botswana, Africa, and shows us a growing, exciting and thoroughly organic heavy metal community. Ten years ago, one group existed. Today there are more than ten – and their fans are growing every year.
The inhabitants of Botswana portrayed in this book are tattooed, wear loudly and proudly leather jackets, leather trousers and play heavy death metal music. Imagine the DIY ingenuity of their ‘costume creation’ involving harvested animal skulls and other natural elements.
With names like Demon and Gunsmoke, it would be easy though to think they are thugs, but “We try to be examples. Rock is a wild thing, but also something for the heart”, says Gunsmoke, the heavy metalhead. Here too, the lyrics of the songs are very critical towards societies, just like their western peers. Metal in Botswana is a rebellious movement against authorities. This is the story of what looks at first to be an unlikely union, yet one which powerfully illustrates how music, how heavy metal music, has become a positively unifying force in an unlikely part of the world.
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