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Meet the Nominees: Dark Helm

Pune’s metalcore outfit use the sitar and santoor in their compositions

rsiwebadmin Jun 08, 2012
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A progressive death core sextet from Pune, Dark Helm is Shubhrayu De on bass, Ninad Ingulkar on drums, Aniketh Shankar on Keyboards, Clinton Moniz and Mohanish Deshmukh on guitar and lead vocalist, Ravish Salelkar. Their debut release is a concept album titled Persepolis, loosely based on the life and times of the Persian emperor, Cyrus. “About two years ago, we wrote a song called ”˜Sands Within’ and when the time came for us to release an album we decided to work on this concept. The song had a Middle Eastern feel to it, and we realized that the story of Cyrus fit right in.” says Salelkar.

The band soon caught the attention of LA-based indie label, Itchy Metal Entertainment and recently signed a two-year contract with them. “The label is really helping us sell Persepolis abroad and establish a fan base internationally. So far, the album sales are going well.” 

Formed in



Dark Helm’s sound can be categorized as progressive metalcore with a twist. The sitar and the santoor that the band uses in most of their songs are seamlessly woven in. The unique oriental sound to Dark Helm’s tracks is credited to keyboardist, Shankar, who has been nominated in the Best Keyboardist category in this year’s Rolling Stone Metal Awards. “Aniketh loves to add Indian classical into the songs. That’s what defines Dark Helm, musically.” says Salelkar. 

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Persepolis (2011)

Nominated for

Best Band

Best Album -Persepolis

Best Bassist ”“ Shubhrayu De

Best Keyboardist ”“ Aniketh Shankar

On Winning

“I can’t say much about our chances of winning. We are a fairly younger act, from a smaller place – that would make us the underdogs against other, more experienced bands like Goddess Gagged,Providenceand Eccentric Pendulum. But, Dark Helm sets itself apart from other bands with our more musically Indian feel.”

Upcoming gigs

Dark Helm will be playing at Ambedkar Stadium, in Delhi on the June 21st as a part of the World Music Day celebrations organized by A.M.E.N (Arts Music Entertainment News). 

Things you didn’t know about Dark Helm

“We’re currently working on another concept album due for release by December this year. I can’t tell you everything but the concept is based on Nibiru (a planet whose existence was suggested in theory by American author Zecharia Sitchin but dismissed by scientists) and the Mayan calendar.” 



Interview by Swathy Sethumadhavan


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