Solo albums by
guitarists that have a day-job in another band are a mixed bag. Some,
like the works of Jeff Loomis, Richie Sambora and Marty
Friedman, were an outlet for ideas that wouldn’t necessarily work
in their full-time bands. Sambora’s "Stranger in This Town",
in particular, shows a passionately emotional, bluesy side to Sambora
that is absent in his work with BON JOVI (if you like blues
music with great guitar-work, definitely hunt this album down). Others,
like TWISTED SISTER’s Eddie Ojeda, make you wonder why
they even bothered. Needless to say, a solo album by the guitarist of
some French band that I’ve never heard of before did not elicit much
excitement on my part, at least at first.
Charly Sahona is the guitarist and keyboardist of the melodic prog Metal
band VENTURIA. VENTURIA was formed in 2000, with their
debut being released in 2005. Writing for this album began during the
recording process for VENTURIA’s follow-up, "Hybrid",
in 2008. Sahona is joined by the bassist and drummer of VENTURIA.
The chemistry between
the three members is a benefit towards the sound of the group as a
whole. While after listening to some of VENTURIA’s songs on
their MySpace page I realized that I am definitely not a fan,
SAHONA’s solo album sounds much different. Seven-string guitars are
employed; there are progressive time-signatures present, but they are
not an overwhelming theme. A comparison would probably include MUSE,
DREAM THEATER, PATHOSRAY and CRISES.
I like how the focus
is not just on guitar-work; catchy vocal melodies, solid riffs and
keyboards are effectively deployed to add depth to the music. That
being said, there are some great guitar solos to be found as well. "Relieved"
and "Away From Our Sins", in particular, showcase Sahona’s
talent at writing songs that are both catchy and technical.
This album is so good
that one has to wonder if these three guys would just be better off
cutting their ties and focusing on this band. Charly Sahona has
written an album that goes beyond what one would expect from a
guitarist’s solo album, while not overlooking the opportunity to
showcase his talent. Although it is inferior to HEATHEN’s new
album, "Naked Thoughts from a Silent Chaos" gets a high rating
and my recommendation. You might be as surprised as I was.