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.
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
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.