Best Of The Decade – The Midlands Rocks Looks Back At The 2010’s….


As a decade of great music draws to a close and we prepare to launch into the roaring 20’s the Midlands Rocks team have rounded up the last ten years and given their views on what stood out for them during the 2010’s….

We asked the MR team to make selections for Artist, Midlands Artist, Albums, Gigs, Festival and Debut of the decade. Some artists appeared a few times – including Black Sabbath, Ghost and Napalm Death – but with eclectic taste across the board the results were as diverse as you might expect.

Paul Castles

Artist of the Decade:-

Midlands Artist of the Decade:-
Napalm Death

Albums of the Decade:-
1 Drudkh – A Furrow Cut Short (2015)
2 Amenra – Mass VI (2016)
3 Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas – Mariner (2016)
4 Conan – Monnos (2012)
5 Batushka – Litourgiya (2015)

Gigs of the Decade:-
1 Batushka – Mama Roux’s (2017)
2 Ghost – Birmingham Academy (2013)
3 Yob – Mama Roux’s (2016)
4 Katatonia – Slade Rooms (2017)
5 Barshasketh – Hammer and the Anvil (2017)

Festival of the Decade:-

Debut album of the Decade:-
Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed (2015)

Looking forward to most in 2020:-
1 Conjurer destroying main stage at Bloodstock
2 Survival of grassroots metal venues in Birmingham
3 Any new release from Drudkh!

Peter Dennis

Artist of the Decade:
Iron Maiden

Midlands Artist of the Decade:
Black Sabbath

Albums of the Decade:
1. Apex Predator – Easy Meat by Napalm Death (2015)
2. Necromancy by Exhumed (2013)
3. Macabre Eternal by Autopsy (2011)
4. Potestas Magicum Diaboli by Asagraum (2017)
5. Firepower by Judas Priest (2018)

Gigs of the Decade:
1. Kiss @ The Arena, Birmingham on 9 July 2019
2. Cannibal Corpse + Triptykon + Enslaved @ HMV Institute, B’ham on 11 February 2012
3. Onslaught + Annihilated @ The Wheatsheaf, Banbury on 15 November 2016
4. The Cult + The Mission @ 02 Academy, Birmingham on 15 September 2012
5. Shonen Knife + Otoboke Beaver @ Musician, Leicester on 6 May 2016

Festival of the Decade:
Bloodstock Open Air (esp. 2011)

Debut Album of the Decade:
Laugh Tracks by Knocked Loose (2016)

Looking forward to most in 2020:
1. Opeth at ArcTanGent Festival
2. New Napalm Death album
3. Behemoth at Bloodstock Festival

Claire Frays

Artist of the Decade:-

Midlands Artist of the Decade:-
Black Sabbath

Albums of the Decade:-
Ghost – Meliora (2015)
Machine Head – Unto The Locust (2011)
Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist (2011)
Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Ascending To Infinity (2012)
Alkaline Trio – Is This Thing Cursed? (2018)

Gigs of the Decade:-
Ghost – Royal Albert Hall (2018)
Trivium – The Asylum (2011)
Alter Bridge – Manchester MEN Arena (2011)
Five Finger Death Punch – Wembley Arena (2015)
Black Sabbath – Genting Arena Birmingham (2017 – Final Show)

Festival of the Decade:-
Download Festival

Debut album of the Decade:-
Ghost – Opus Eponymous (2010)

Looking forward to most in 2020:-
Five Finger Death Punch (New Album)
Seeing what fate awaits Ghost’s Cardinal Copia
Possible new material from Avantasia – Tobias Sammet’s social media teasers are killing me

Jason Guest

Artist of the Decade:

Midlands Artist of the Decade:
Anaal Nathrakh

Albums of the Decade:
Faith No More – Sol Invictus (2015)
Zu – Jhator (2017)
Aluk Todolo – Voix (2016)
Oranssi Pazuzu – Valonielu (2013)
Swans – The Glowing Man (2016)

Gigs of the Decade:
Roger Waters – The Wall @ Wembley Stadium, London – Saturday 14 September 2013
Ghost @ Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham – Saturday 16 November 2019
Swans @ The Asylum, Birmingham – Wednesday 24 May 2017
Aluk Todolo @ The Angel Microbrewery, Nottingham – Friday 11 November 2016
Zu @ The Flapper, Birmingham – Saturday 17 August 2019

Festival of the Decade:
Damnation, Leeds University

Debut album of the Decade:
Ghost – Opus Eponymous (2010)

Looking forward to most in 2020:
Faith No More – the message, ‘pssst…’ appeared on their social media sites in late November and dates now announced…
Ghost – with the band playing only one show in 2020, there must be an album in the works.
Napalm Death – in progress, apparently.

Dean Pedley

Artist of the Decade:-
Jason Isbell – Got sober, won multiple Grammy’s, redefined the Nashville sound

Midlands Artist of the Decade:-
Black Sabbath – Left us on a high

Albums of the Decade:-
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound (2017)
The Cadillac Three – Tennessee Mojo (2012)
Robert Plant – Carry Fire (2017)
Blackberry Smoke – The Whippoorwill (2012)
Whiskey Myers – Firewater (2011)

Gigs of the Decade:-
Black Sabbath @ O2 Academy, Birmingham (2012)
Roger Waters – The Wall @ Wembley Stadium (2013)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band @ The Ricoh, Coventry (2013)
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham (2017)
Rush @ LG Arena, Birmingham (2013)

Debut album of the Decade:-
The Cadillac Three – Tennessee Mojo

Looking forward to most in 2020:-
If the stars are aligned then the debut album from Dawn After Dark, some 30 years later than originally planned
A new studio album from Jason Isbell
Bruce Springsteen getting back to business with The E Street Band

Paul Quinton

Artist of the Decade:-
Steven Wilson, defined Progressive Rock in the decade in terms of music and performance, took a Prog album to No 1 in the national album charts, and so much more.

Midlands Artist of the Decade:-
Robert Plant. Always his own man, does everything with class, still true to the Midlands, and even without having been in that band, would have had a fine and significant career.

Albums of the Decade:-
1. Riverside – Shrine of New Generation Slaves
2. Anathema – Distant Satellites
3. Steven Wilson – Hand Cannot Erase
4. Tyketto – Reach
5. Within Temptation – The Unforgiving

Gigs of the Decade:-
Rush, @ The NEC, Birmingham, 2013
Bruce Springsteen @ The Ricoh Stadium, Coventry 2016
Tyketto @ Firefest, Rock City, Nottingham, 2012
Steven Wilson @ The Royal Albert Hall, London 2015
Steve Hackett, Genesis Revisited, @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 2013

Best Festival:-
Firefest, Rock City, Nottingham, 2012

Best debut album:-
Headspace – “I Am Anonymous” 2012

Things to look forward to in 2020:-
1. The return of Pure Reason Revolution
2. The Snake Oil and Harmony album and tour, with Dan Reed and Danny Vaughn
3. The chance to discover even more fresh local bands of the quality of Devilfire, Blue Nation and more and also from further afield, bands like Mason Hill, Hollowstar and Austin Gold.

Rich Ward

Artist of the decade:
UFO – A great run of albums and shows that just kept getting better and better and going out in style at the top.

Midlands Artist Of The Decade:
Black Sabbath – Several shows and a surprise album to add to their legacy and bringing things full circle with two superb shows at the NEC.

Top 5 Albums:
Blackberry Smoke – The Whippoorwill – Southern Rock rides again.
Deep Purple – Now What!? – After a run of average albums, this put them back where they belong.
Diamond Head – The Coffin Train – A band revitalised mixing the old with the new with sheer class and momentous riffs.
Waterboys – An Appointment With Mr Yeats – Mike Scott effortlessly mixes Irish folk, rock and the poetry of Yeats. An album I keep dipping back into.
Last Internationale – We Will Reign – refreshingly new, yet refreshingly old school west coast rock meets east coast attitude.

Top 5 Gigs:
David Gilmour @ Royal Albert Hall – 23rd September 201
Judas Priest @ Bradford St George’s Hall – 23rd November 2015
Deep Purple Celebrating Jon Lord @ Royal Albert Hall – 4th April 2014
Walking Papers @ The Vault, Rugby – 6th November 2012
Black Sabbath @ Resorts World Arena – 4th February 2017

Ramblin Man Fair – Chilled out, family friendly festival where you’re never far from a stage with a good mix of bands and queues at the bar take minutes rather than full sets.

Debut of The Decade:
The Temperance Movement

Most looking forward to in 2020:
Continuing to have my expectations exceeded by new and existing bands and from Festivals to intimate clubs.