A conscious Christian, Marcelo Camela is a 25 year-old guitarist, from Puebla City, in Mexico. He began playing guitar at the age of 12. His early stage experiences being with the church´s worship team, a few months after starting to learn to play the instrument. A couple of years later, Marcelo co-founded the band “Falling Darkness”; a Christian death metal band, for which he still is, to this day – composer, lead guitarist, and studio vocalist. The band has released 4 studio albums, and an EP.
Though primarily a metal player, Camela Camela’s skills go beyond that genre. Marcelo Camela has just released his debut instrumental album, “Praise & Strings”. This first effort was entirely self-produced, and was recorded at his home studio (MCG Studios). Professional, Marcelo is a lawyer, and also works as an English-Spanish interpreter for many missionaries around the world, having traveled around his homeland, and various other countries.
Marcelo Camela’s first solo album is indeed a fine effort, resulting in a variety of tunes that showcases technicality, melody as well as a range of different styles. If you’d like a less pyrotechnical version of Satriani or Vai, then Marcelo will get the job done. Quite simply he is an amazingly talented guitar player and songwriter. He’s at the top of the heap.
Marcelo plays at lightning fast speeds without falling into the ‘mind-boggling’ speed-traps that most of his contemporaries so desperately desire to display. He plays with precision, but never ‘machine-like precision’, while he writes and plays beautiful and memorable melodies with a very soulful touch and a wide variety of killer tones. These songs range from peaceful, thoughtful, and calm to a full out meltdown-metal assaults.
Unlike some instrumental music, “Praise & Strings” keeps the interest level high from start to finish. This is mainly due to the fact that Marcelo switches between hard and soft styles, and from electric to acoustic and back, giving the listener ample time to ‘rest’ their ears before the next ‘sonic assault’.
Marcelo Camela states his musical case right from the outset with 3 back-to-back tracks that explode with energy, melody and technique – the riffing rockers, “Praising”, “There is Joy” and “From My Heart To Your Ears”. Heartfelt songs like “Arms Of Grace” and “Light Of The World”, further cements the fact that this guy can write amazing songs, songs with feeling, and basically play anything he wants on the guitar.
“Invincible” is great acoustic guitar interlude, showing off Marcelo’s excellent ‘unplugged’ Latino rhythm and picking skills. “Lord Of All” is a brief but all-out explosion of shredding and soloing over layered guitar rhythms. “Might And Glory” kind of leads on where the previous track let off, further exploring some powerhouse guitar soloing over escalating riff-filled rhythms.
“Te Amo Jesus” takes Marcelo back to the soft and gentle acoustic- guitar tones, while “A Song For My Saviour” is a keyboard driven track filled with synth pads and piano. On this album Marcelo captures all his passion and musical interaction with his worshipping experiences, and takes it to a level of virtuosity and intensity that is beyond remarkable and very satisfying. This album is outstanding; especially considering this is Marcelo Camela’s solo debut. To give “Praise & Strings” anything less than five stars is insane!