Mt. Helium

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The Apex Theory
Also known as Mt.Helium
Origin Los Angeles, California, USA
Genres Progressive metal,[1][2][3] alternative metal[2][3]
Years active 1999 — 2008
Labels Dreamworks Records, TOYS.of.the.MASSES.
Associated acts System of a Down, VoKee
Members Art Karamian
David Hakopyan
Sammy J. Watson
Past members Ontronik Khachaturian

Mt. Helium is an Armenian-American progressive metal power trio from Los Angeles, California, formerly known as The Apex Theory. The band has released three studio albums and three extended plays to date.


The Apex Theory was formed in 1999 by Armenian-American Los Angeles musicians Ontronik Khachaturian, Art Karamian and David Hakopyan, following Khachaturian's injury and subsequent departure from System Of A Down. Sammy J. Watson joined the band after they were unable to find a committed drummer.[4] The band released its first extended play, Extendemo, in 2000. The following year, they signed with DreamWorks Records,[5] releasing their second EP, The Apex Theory on October 9, 2001.[4] The band performed at the main stage during the 2001 Warped Tour,[6][7] and as co-headliners at the 2002 MTV2 tour.[4]

On April 2, 2002, the band released its first album, Topsy-Turvy. It peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and No. 157 on the Billboard 200.[8] Months after the album's release, Khachaturian left the band,[5] and they began to audition new vocalists before deciding that Karamian would take over as the band's vocalist, shifting the band from a quartet to a power trio.[9][10] The band released an EP in 2004 entitled inthatskyissomethingwatching. After changing the name to Mt. Helium, the band released its second album, Faces, as a digital download on June 3, 2008.[11]

Musical style[edit]

Mt. Helium's style has been predominately described as progressive metal[1][2][3] and alternative metal.[2][3] The former vocalist Ontronik Khachaturian described the band's sound as a "heavy Mediterranean groove".[4][12] The Michigan Daily writer Sonya Sutherland wrote, "The Apex Theory combines a heavy drum support, melodic guitars and honey sweet vocals to provide an entertaining and emotional message."[12] The band's musical style was influenced by Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Near Eastern music.[12] PopMatters described Topsy-Turvy as "an energy-filled fusion of progressive and modern rock."[13]

The MTV News writer Jon Wiederhorn wrote that "the Apex Theory's multi-textured music [...] combines metal, prog-rock, Mediterranean music and even jazz. And the off-kilter rhythm, skittering drums, whirlpool guitars and aggressive vocals of 'Shhh ... (Hope Diggy)' are a perfect taster for the band's debut album".[14] Modern Drummer wrote that "The combination of solid musical interplay, the fusion of emo, grunge, and punk, and the set’s sheer ferocity makes this exceptional brand of progressive metal rhythmically explosive."[1]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]



Extended plays[edit]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b c d Torreano, Bradley (2002-04-02). "Topsy Turvy - The Apex Theory : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d " News Archives". 2002-08-09. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Wilson, MacKenzie. "Biography of The Apex Theory". Allmusic. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Iannini, Tommaso (2003). "The Apex Theory". Nu metal (in Italian). Giunti. pp. 22–23. ISBN 88-09-03051-6. 
  6. ^ MacDonald, Patrick (June 29, 2001). "Punk rock and extreme sports collide at Vans Warped Tour". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  7. ^ Burr, Ramiro (September 7, 2002). "Apex Theory set for Ozzfest Quartet mixes hard rock, funk". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "Charts and awards for Topsy Turvy". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  9. ^ a b "For The Record: Quick News On Limp Bizkit, Wes Borland, Apex Theory, Coal Chamber, Rival Schools, Kiss & More". MTV News. November 19, 2002. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  10. ^ a b "For The Record: Quick News On Mary J. Blige, Guided By Voices, Kid Rock, Elephant Man, Metallica, Billy Joel & More". MTV News. April 26, 2004. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  11. ^ "ASIN: B001A660KW". Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  12. ^ a b c Sutherland, Sonya (November 12, 2001). "World music collides in Apex Theory". Michigan Daily. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (March 1, 2002). "Apex Theory Offer 'Hope' To Metal — Diggy-Da". MTV News. Retrieved 15 December 2008.