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Meet The Nominees: Orion

The Mumbai prog death metal band released their first EP, ‘On The Banks Of Rubicon,’ last year

Anurag Tagat Jun 14, 2013
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Orion. Photo: Pratika Prabhune

Orion. Photo: Pratika Prabhune

Orion, the a four-piece progressive death metal band from Mumbai, was formed by bassist Anshuman Bhattacharya and vocalist-guitarist Vigneshkumar Venkatraman. The band’s current lineup is completed by drummer Pritesh Prabhune and guitarist Ashwin Kulkarni.

The band hit a rough patch when then-guitarist Cain Pinto posted a negative album review of Demonic Resurrection’s The Return To Darkness online in 2010. “DR fans online went quickly from being anti-Cain to anti-Orion, so we had to ask him to leave,” says Bhattacharya. Guitarist Venkatraman adds, “We became the most hated and most neglected band. But Anshuman and I didn’t get pissed about it.” A month prior to Pinto’s departure, drummer Varoon Aiyer also decided to stop playing metal and moved on to join alternative bands such as Split and BLEK. The band regrouped after recruiting Prabhune and Kulkarni in early 2012.

Formed in:



Orion started off as a heavy metal band, before throwing in death metal influences such as Necrophagist and Death. The biggest influence remains prog death metal band Opeth, according to Venkatraman, who adds he is influenced by Opeth vocalist Mikael Akerfeldt. While Bhattacharya used to perform screeching vocals in the band’s previous lineup, Venkatraman took over vocal duties after the band regrouped. “I still do backing vocals, but there’s no way I can growl like him [Venkatraman],” says Bhattacharya.

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Reverie Hours (2010) – Demos

On The Banks of Rubicon (2012) – debut four-track EP

Nominated for:

Best Band

Best Album – On The Banks of Rubicon

Best Guitarist – Vigneshkumar Venkatraman, Ashwin Kulkarni

Best Drummer – Pritesh Prabhune

On their chances of winning:

Venkatraman says that he was surprised that Orion was nominated, since he thought most bands got nominated based on popularity. “I don’t want to say anything about it. I expect us to win at least one award, I just don’t know which one,” says the guitarist.

One thing you didn’t know about Orion:

Bhattacharya explains they take their band name not from the star constellation, but from a 1986 Metallica instrumental song by the same name, which the metal giants now play in memory of bassist Cliff Burton. “There’s no resemblance to Metallica [in terms of music], but the name stuck,” says the bassist.


Listen to “Oh Sweet Ebullition” here

Voting for RSMA 2013 is open till June 20th on the Rolling Stone India Facebook page. Click here to vote for the Best Band, Best Song and Best Album category. For other details, click here.

#RSMA Question:

Name the title of Orion’s first release

Send in your answers through the comment thread below

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