||STEVE GÖLDBY'S METAL CHRONICLES
'Judas' is the debut novel by Roy Bright, the frontman of hard rocking Metal band Exit State and it's an absolutely gripping read.
It's a passionate religious epic, a horror story drawing inspiration from the classic confrontation between light and dark forces, it's simultaneously brutal, frightening and heart warming and it will leave you gasping for breath.
Judas Iscariot has been condemned to walk the earth for all eternity as a punishment for betraying Jesus Christ and 1,979 years after his 'sentence', he gets a chance to put things right but he's going to have to fight and win the mother of all battles to get his redemption.
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Judas is a very likeable guy. He plays Metallica very loudly on his car stereo, his arms are covered in kickass tattoos and he uses the word "fuck" in nearly every other sentence he speaks.
That could well be because he is mighty pissed off that while he has been wandering the earth for over two thousand years, he has been condemned to live an existance where he cannot love or be loved and cannot use any material wealth he may gain on his solitary, everlasting journey.
Hardly surprising he got into Metal music then.
He's also a super-skilful swordsman and he possesses two weapons that have been fashioned from a very special artefact but you'll have to read the book to find out more about this and his ultra complex character.
Throughout the ages and during the course of his desolate existence, Judas has been handed various tasks by the big guy upstairs and one rainy day in New York City he is visited again and told that if he can look after a certain six-year-old girl for three days and protect her from the evil forces who seek to take her soul, then all will be forgiven.
The action starts almost as soon as Judas accepts the task and the cast of main characters are thrown into a nightmare scenario where their lives are at risk from the worst demons from the pits of Hell and from Lucifer himself.
Characters such as Gabriel the Archangel, Abaddon, The Destructor and Annas of the Sanhedrin are all portrayed expertly and with a flair that leaves you with an intimate knowledge of their personalities.
There are revelations in this book will make your jaw drop and you may even find yourself questioning the very fundamentals of the Christian religion. Yes, it is a work of fiction but it definitely feels real and certainly gets you thinking.
Clcik here to buy 'Judas' from Amazon...
Here's a few of my favourite quotes from the book by Judas himself:
"Right, now that your lives are pretty much turned upside down, any questions?"
"I am just a man who made a terrible mistake once, but now I must leave those whom I love, as once again, that mistake returns to haunt me."
"I don't dance, demon, but I fight pretty fucking well."
"Well, Gary, my man, after every last shred of clothing I was wearing was incinerated; I had to find a clothing store to fit myself out in. Unfortunately for me, the first one I came across was a goddamn golf store."
"Well, you see, every religion on the planet has it wrong and every religion on the planet has it right."
"Sorry Sweetness. I was too busy chopping bits off huge demons."
"That you, Masaki? Thought I'd killed you centuries ago?" Annoyed, the creature responds, "Fuck you Iscariot. Do you know how long I had to wait until I could come back, you fucking prick."
"For all your power, you are still as dumb as a box of rocks."
"Well, Mr Policeman, this is nothing your skills can help with, neither you nor any of your colleagues, so just let it be and let me do my job. If I am allowed to do so unhindered, this will all be like a bad dream in two days."
"Look. The voice inside that little girl's head told her that you have to come with us, so that is what you will have to do. That voice is most likely that of an angel, those creatures were demons from Hell, she is carrying the light of God within herself and I'm the guy who murdered Jesus Christ by betraying him. Explanation rendered, what the fuck is your problem? Get in the fucking car!"
"I could tell you all the information that you are dying to hear, but fatso over there would probably get all excited and want to order twelve burgers or something to celebrate."
Clcik here to buy 'Judas' from Amazon...
I approached author Roy Bright with some burning questions I had about 'Judas'.
As mentioned above, Roy was the frontman of Exit State who have now sadly disbanded. They released three albums, 'Death Of A Rockstar' in 2010, 'Black Veins' in 2011 and 2013s 'Let's See It All'. In February 2013 Exit State were immensely proud to be appointed Official Patron of chART - Children's Hospice Arts, a charity that aims to enrich the lives of children with life limiting conditions and severe disabilities through music and the arts.
The band also shared stages with big names such as Michael Schenker, Blaze Bayley and Dave Evans (AC/DC) and toured extensively throughout Europe.
Roy also has a famous half-brother, ex-Premier League Footballer Mark Bright who is now a regular BBC Sports commentator for Match Of The Day.
Author Roy Bright
I asked Roy where he got the inspiration for 'Judas' from?
"The idea for the story came from an amalgamation of two ideas, years apart in truth.
"I was once watching the movie Dracula 2000 and interestingly at the end, the film suggested that the vampire Dracula had actually been Judas Iscariot cursed by God for what he had done. I thought that was really interesting and put it to the back of my mind.
"In early 2012 I got really into Within Temptation and their track with Keith Caputo, 'What Have You Done', really spoke to me. I think the song is about the fact one of them has cheated on the other, but with most songs, multiple meanings can be derived from lyrics to fit what the listener actually feels is happening, and it was at that point that I started to think about Judas again.
"I then asked myself a very Stan Lee type question... what if? What if he was unable to die, cursed by God? What if he was an exceptional swordsman and his talent could be used by the almighty? What if he had a mission? What if? What if? What if?
"And that's how it all started..."
You couldn't have produced this work without an in-depth knowledge of biblical matters and the characters involved. Have you always possessed this knowledge or did you need to go on a journey of discovery especially for this project?
"Well in truth I was raised in a very religious family - I was actually an alter server until age 14 would you believe haha, and attended church every Sunday plus all of the events asociated with such an upbringing.
"My own interpretation of faith, as I have gotten older, and of course from my time spent in the military, is something I guard to myself but all in all I had a massive foundation in religion to begin with, not to mention the fact I went to a CofE High School.
"That's not to say I didn't have to do a serious amount of research, I did and I learned a hell of a lot of things about the times, and the real life characters - was great fun to study up on it all.""
How relevant do you think religion, especially Christianity, still is in this day and age?
"I think religion will always be relevant to those whose faith is very important to them. Perhaps the leaps in science that we have taken in the last ffity years has meant a decline in what people believe in outright, but in the end I am sure people still look to the heavens when they need some good fortune, or healing in their lives."
And after the unfortunate split of Exit State, what musical plans do you have for the future?
"Well, Exit State has been such a big part of my life for the last nine years that it is going to be good to just chill out during the summer and spend time with my family.
"I do have plans to start a new musical project later in the year/2015 but for now, just enjoying peace, quiet and lots of time to myself haha!"
And a final note, a movie of this book could potentially be a big smash. Let's hope that somehow it happens.
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