Red Helen is a Progressive Metalcore band from Johannesburg, South Africa. Formed in late 2008, they constantly seek new and exciting opportunities to challenge themselves and expand on their already unique palette of musical influences and soundscapes. At their core is an unquenchable desire to constantly better themselves as professional musicians and performers – a testament to the progressive nature of their songs. The band hopes to challenge the musical norms and stereotypes set and exacerbated by a number of modern metal bands and musicians. Leaning to more specific stylistic references, Red Helen strive to create emotionally wrenching songs in the context of intricate rhythmic devices, catchy melodies and a harmonic symbiosis between vocalists and guitars.
After listening to their album Trading Past for Pathways several times, one thing I really respect about Red Helen is how their music commands your attention. From the moment The Collapse begins you know you are in for one intense musical journey, and it doesn't let up for the entire album.
I think the thing that struck me most while listening to their music was how honest it was. It conveyed so much empathy for emotional and life struggles that everyone has encountered. The song that really pierced my heart, so to speak, was Suicide Notes & Bloodshot Eyes. I can't put into words just how hard this one song hit me, it was as if it was speaking my soul since I could relate to it personally. Even though this particular song brought so many emotions to the surface, it also provided a moment of solace in their verse, "Turn away from the darkness that's inside... Smiles come easy now 'cause... I know you're at peace...". Normally I don't do such things in reviews but I want to take a moment and say, thank you to Red Helen for tackling such a painful topic and giving people a moment of solace in their prisons of darkness. It is because of artists like you that I believe music can save the world because you bring such comfort to those whose hearts are far too wounded to speak for themselves and free them from their prisons, even if it's only temporary.
I assure you that was not the only powerful song on this album, they tackle it all and command not only the ear but the heart as well. The way the rhythm keeps the intensity in each song and the melody sets your soul free, can only be done by true artists that actually feel the music they create. A couple of other songs from the album that really capture the soul are Solace in Suffocation and Vartamana, they both once again tackle some of the dark issues in life and through their music create a sense of hope and beauty. It is like they are in the darkness with you but reaching out a hand to help guide you back to the light and beauty of life. If anything I will say this, Red Helen has a talent in providing musical hope in its listeners and I genuinely hope they continue to make music because we need more artists like them to mend all of scars we all carry each day. I know their music has left a distinct impression on my heart and it is one that I hope others gain as well when listening to their artistry. And for those of you out there, who were like me, and not necessarily a fan of Metalcore, give them a chance, I assure you, you won't regret it. Thank you for opening my eyes Red Helen, I wish you nothing but continued success and can't wait till I see you guys slaying the masses on stages all around the world.
Below are the places where you can find Red Helen:
All articles / reviews are written by Italian Metal Queen aka @OceansStorm