It’s a Friday night in Nottingham and, in two neighbouring venues, two cracking metal gigs are taking place. In the Rescue Rooms Max Cavalera and his troops of doom in Soulfly are playing and, in Rock City, Michael Schenker is leading his awesome Temple of Rock project into battle. It’s an unfortunate conflict because it threatens to divide the audience somewhat, but happily Rock City is still comfortably full and the air is laden with anticipation for a concert that promises to showcase material from across the spectrum of a truly extraordinary career.

First, however, are Venrez. Venrez truly impressed SonicAbuse last year with their excellent album ‘Children of the drone’ and live they don’t disappoint. Superficially, the band have a somewhat incongruous look. With a bassist whose icy cool recalls Brigitte Nielson’s character in Beverly Hills Cop 2  and a drummer who seems to be Dave Grohl’s evil twin (and boy can he hit those skinshard), the band simply tear into the audience, laying down the hardest riffs this side of Schenker himself. Venrez has a voice that could level buildings, powerful and full of emotion and Jason Womack is one of those rare guitarists who somehow sounds like there’s at least three other guitarists playing on stage along with him.

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