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Red Helen, the Kings of Metal

Now and then you meet people who have such an impact on you that without them even knowing they encourage you to follow what you love in life and go big no matter what.

Red Helen, a South African band was founded in 2008 by Erick Gerber, the guitar player alongside a group of his friends.  The bunch met at The Campus of Performing Arts (COPA). Throughout the years the line-up has changed and Erick is the only remaining member from the original line-up. All though the line-up has changed, every member of Red Helen has met at COPA. In 2012 the current line-up for Red Helen was solidified which is made up of Brandon Pratt on vocals, Erick Gerber on guitar and vocals, Greg van Kerkhof on bass guitar and vocals, and Matt Sletcher on the drums. A quite interesting fact is that Brandon and Greg first met as kids when they did karate together.

Like all great bands, a meaning is usually attached to the name, the same with Red Helen.  Some may be surprised to find out that a Red Helen is a butterfly. Curious to know why a metal band is named after a butterfly, we just had to ask on which the response was, “To us, it represents the states of mental metamorphosis we go through during life. Completely shifting the way we see the world and ourselves. It also symbolizes our attempts to evolve as people and musicians, as we push our own self-made boundaries to become more than what we currently are.”

What makes Red Helen stand out in the music industry is how they introduce us to a new and unique style of music. Red Helen might be defined as a progressive metal core band, they still manage to express themselves musically and explore the other avenues of music by incorporating elements of jazz, rock, and electronic music into what they do.

The reason why Red Helen are so looked up to and admired as performers is how they skyrocketed throughout the course of a couple of short years. Red Helen has performed at so many phenomenal events and festivals such as Oppikoppi in 2015 and Krank’d Up Fest in 2014&2015, that they became internationally know. One of their greatest feats was to perform at 2014’s Wacken Open Air, (The biggest metal festival in the entire world) where they won the Wacken Metal Battle South Africa.

2017 was a very big year for them as they released their brand new album “Trading Past for Pathways” which represents the last 4 years of the Red Helen members.

With so much that happened in 2017, you can just imagine what more is in store for Red Helen fans this year. Keep up to date with what the band is up to by following them on social media and for everyone who is looking for their music, their new album can be purchase via their Bandcamp page (, as well as on iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and a host of other online stores.


About the author

Riaan Beeslaar

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