You might know guitar master Charly Sohona from his work with the French prog/power metal band Venturia. Naked Thoughts from a Silent Chaos, on Lion Music, is his first solo album, and you need to put aside any preconceived expectations when approaching this work. There are few similarities to this work with Venturia. Naked Thoughts finds Mr. Sohona creating his songs upon some different building blocks than his sterling fret work. Immediately, you will recognize a foundation of heavier riffs, often with a harshness closer to modern rock or metal. If it were not for the strong melodies and vocal arrangements, the feature nearly overwhelms Naked Thoughts.
Sohona also handles all keyboard work adding a perspective of atmosphere on Forgotten Past to intrigue on River of Lies. Additionally, this work finds Sohona stepping up to the microphone, and he has a surprisingly pleasing voice. Yet, the real stars here are Mr. Sohona's song craftsmanship and guitar skills. On the former, despite the overwhelming harsh heaviness throughout, the song arrangements show the inspired creativity of true progressive music. On the latter, Sohona has the ability to stretch and explore the depth of his fret magic, and the results range sublime accuracy (Living in a Dream is not Right) to full velocity shredding (All that Can't Be Said).
As for flaws, they are few as even the aforementioned harshness can be overlooked considering the smartness of the compositions. Yet, I still wonder what Mr. Sohona was going for on this work: an album of songs based upon modern prog rock motif or simply a huge canvas to paint with his immense skills. It seems an integration of both and fortunately, for the listener, it works. Conversely, the terrible album art work does not (a recent trend from the label). Lion Music needs to put an effort similar to the artist when designing for their albums.
In the end, for a debut solo effort Charly Sohona's Naked Thoughts from a Silent Chaos is strong work, flowing with genuine creativity and virtuosity. Recommended.
For a debut solo effort Charly Sohona's Naked Thoughts from a Silent Chaos is strong work, flowing with genuine creativity and virtuosity and built upon a modern prog rock canvas. Recommended.