Industrial metal band KingDoom, fronted by Cold Lake’s very own Lex Justice, may soon make a comeback after a lengthy hibernation backed by a legendary figure in the music industry.
Justice, whose real name is Alex Varughese, founded KingDoom in 2010 alongside fellow musician and 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Chris Vrenna, best known as the former drummer for Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.
They quickly gained attention for their dark image and powerful live shows.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to rub shoulders with a lot of artists that I admired a lot as a kid, one of those people being Chris,” said Varughese on how the collaboration began. “We were both two guys that wanted to make heavy industrial music, so that’s what we did.”
Varughese has been a professional musician for the last 20 years, having gotten into the industry after a night at Edmonton’s Blues on White venue, where he had a chance meeting with blues bassist Russell Jackson, a past member of BB King’s band.
“Russell coaxed me into performing on stage with him, and he recommended that I start a band. So he became a kind of mentor for me,” recalls Varughese.
In his years as a working musician, Varughese has divided his time between Alberta and Los Angeles, allowing him to work with a number of bands including Econoline Crush and his own group SUGAKANE. However, it’s KingDoom that has his attention right now, describing the project as a labour of love.
Before their 2015 hiatus, the group released two albums, their 2012 self-titled debut and sophomore release Standup Chameleon while sharing the stage with high profile acts such as Hellyeah before disputes with management led the members to go their separate ways, though they had never officially broken up.
In the years since, Varughese has continued performing, having released a reggae and blues-inspired album under his Lex Justice alias, while also looking into acting, which was unfortunately cut short thanks to COVID-19.
However, Varughese decided to use the opportunity to reignite KingDoom, and has been actively negotiating with old and new bandmates to make a third album a reality for most of 2020.
“There’s new blood, and it’s too early to make any kind of announcements right now, but it’s looking exciting,” said Varughese.
Another industry icon Varughese has been in talks with for some time has been producer Butch Vig, best known for his work on Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind, though whether or not he’ll work with the group has yet to be determined.
“I had met Butch in Los Angeles a couple of times, one such time being in an elevator at a Sunset Boulevard gym I was training at,” recalls Varughese. “It’s hard to say whether or not he’ll produce a KingDoom record, but making a unique record with a guy like him is definitely up there on my Christmas list.”
Varughese returned to Canada in April of this year and has remained active as a performer.