If there is such a thing as a music gene, Jordan Elias has it. A third generation music industry progeny, Elias traces his musical heritage back to his grandfather, legendary Motown producer Jerry Marcellino, who helmed projects for such superstars as Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Al Jarreau, Lionel Ritchie and The Commodores, Bobby Darin and Smokey Robinson. Jordan’s father, Yochanan Marcellino, cut his teeth in the music industry and went on to found several successful record labels, including Kerygma Records, Galilee of the Nations Music and City of Peace Media. With the release of his debut project, Desert Cry, Elias proves the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Co-produced by Jerry and Yochanan Marcellino, the music of Desert Cry is a refreshingly organic combination of old soul, Gospel and thundering Jesus rock. Elias delivers a one-two musical punch of raw, bare-knuckles rock ‘n’ roll guitars wrapped around thick, meaty melodies followed up by moments of sweetly nuanced, intimate piano-based worship ballads.

With three generations of musical history in one studio, it should come as no surprise that the end result would be a stunning package of intense, relevant, accessible yet thought-provoking songs. What may be surprising is the fire and passion Elias exudes. Fresh out of the gate, he proclaims the truth without pulling punches, sugarcoating nothing.

Elias, a Jewish believer, opens the project with the holy declaration, “Hear, O Israel,” based on Deuteronomy 6:4. Thundering rock guitars embellish Jordan’s autobiographical “Do You Want the Fire?” Gently meandering piano trills accompany the prayerful “Down Down,” while moody acoustic guitars and driving electric guitars provide the backdrop for the starkly honest confession of faith, “For the First Time.”

Elias’ outright passion caused Melody Green to comment that his song “Tickle My Ears Gospel” sounds like a song that her husband, the late Christian artist Keith Green, would have sung.

That same passion for the Gospel permeates “Springtime,” a classic rock anthem about embracing the spiritual warfare required to push back the darkness. The video version of the song, a stunning allegorical representation of the battle between the Light and the Darkness, was produced by Elias’ brother, filmmaker Dustin Marcellino, for City of Peace Films.

Elias’ fresh, unvarnished sound supports a message that is as old as the Bible itself.

“The title of the album, Desert Cry, is derived from a pattern found again and again throughout the scriptures,” Elias explains. “It is the cry of the prophets, spanning from Moses, Elijah and Elisha, all the way down the line to John the Baptist and Yeshua (Jesus), the Messiah Himself. These men, called of God, drew away into the desert, and there God gave them each the same message for their own generation: ‘Repent and return to the Lord.’ That’s what this album is all about. It is that very same message being declared to this generation: a call to ‘return to the Lord.'”

Jordan Elias’ Desert Cry is available on City of Peace Media and distributed through Provident-Integrity Distribution.

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