Featured Lists: Henry Derek of Act of Defiance Picks His Albums of the Year

Henry Derek is the lead singer of metal supergroup, Act of Defiance. The group features members Scar the Martyr (Derek’s former band), Megadeth, and Shadows Fall. On top of being the frontman for AoD, he also spends time as the lead singer for the thrash group, Thrown Into ExileMr. Derek was kind enough to share a few few different lists with The Amalgam, including his Top 100(!) albums of 2015. Thank you very much, Henry!


Top 100 Albums of 2015

Kendrick Lamar - TPAB1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

Instant classic! Period. A lot has been said over the past year about this album and it’s received countless glowing reviews from critics & fans. As for me, I’ve been a diehard fan ever since I heard his first mixtape. Without a doubt I have to say that this record is my favorite Hip Hop release this year. It’s absolutely amazing that this dude managed to craft such a masterpiece, especially considering his age. Lyrically, I would call him a genius. Stylistically, no one sounds like him. He’s got his own distinctive sound vocally and artistically AND the production is top notch. Not to mention, the musical arrangements and overall theme of the album is the icing on the cake. Incorporating elements of jazz, funk, soul & spoken word, I deem this to be one of the most inspired & important albums in African American music history. Right up there w/ The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron, James Brown & John Coltrane. 10/10


Coil - Backwards2. Coil- Backwards

Coil has been one of my favorite electronic groups forever. The band ceased to exist after the death of main man/mastermind John Balance. Although this isn’t a brand new studio album, it was finally released after two decades. It was recorded at Trent Reznor’s Nothing studio after the release of “Loves Secret Domain” and shelved by the record company thereafter for reasons unknown. In my opinion, this is some of their strongest material. It has the driving industrial sounds that the band is known for. All the while pushing the boundaries of
Trance and EBM. Of course, there’s no way one could simply categorize Coil in just a few words. They have to be one of the most interesting, unpredictable, yet influential electronic groups of all time. This album deserves to be heard by adventurous listeners and rock fans alike. 9/10


Missy Mazzoli3. Missy Mazzoli – Vespers For A New Dark Age

Vespers for a New Dark Age was commissioned by Carnegie Hall. It’s gotta be one of the most accomplished pieces I’ve heard in recent years. She’s one hell of a composer. Mixing elements of classical, opera & chamber music, this work is an eerie unsettling distorted twist on the genre. But there’s beauty too. The vocals are almost monotone at times, but ethereal echoes entwined sound as though they were in fact sent down from the heavens. But are the fallen angels some hybrid of our technology and our emotional ties to the modern world in which we live in? That’s something she begs of us to ask on this release. 9/10


Elder - Lore4. Elder – Lore

This band is one of my greatest discoveries from the past year. They are a three piece from Massachusetts. They manage to make some of the most epic, atmospheric & riff-tastic tunes on the planet! Everything from psych to stoner to post-rock to progressive metal is showcased here. Highly recommended. 9/10


Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear5. Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear

FJM is J. Tillman: a brilliant singer/ songwriter & musician I might add. I’ve always enjoyed his previous solo work including his involvement with Fleet Foxes & Saxon Shore, but THIS record really took me by surprise. It appeals to me a lot more than the debut. I mean, C’mon! Lyrically, the man is an absolute powerhouse. Live, he’s a maniacal, almost evangelical figure, a sexy beast and a ladies man, no doubt. Either way, he’s a showman for sure and each performance is nothing short of incredible. Apparently, I met the man at a bar once before all of the critical acclaim & hipster superstardom, but I was too drunk to remember afterwards. That’s okay. I revel in the miserable and endearing afterglow and insight that this record has to offer. 9/10


6. Leviathan – Scar Sighted
7. Steve Wilson – Hand Cannot Erase
8. Algiers – Algiers
9. Health – Death Magic
10. Alva Noto – Xerrox3
11. Bosse-De-Nage – All Fours
12. Locrian – Infinite Dissolution
13. The Weekend – Beauty Behind The Madness
14. Sumac – The Deal
15. Low – Ones & Sixes
16. Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls
17. The Dears – Times Infinity Volume One
18. Death Grips – The Powers That B
19. Mgla – Exercises In Futility
20. Ramleh – Circular Time
21. Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m going Down
22. Kamasi Washington – The Epic
23. Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss
24. Duke Garwood – Heavy Love
25. EL VY – Return To The Moon
26. William Basinski – Cascade
27. Drab Majesty – Careless
28. The Body & Thou – You, Whom I Have Always Hated
29. Doomtree – All Hands
30. Tsjuder – Antiliv 
31. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – A Year With Thirteen Moons
32. All Them Witches – Dying Surfer Meets His Maker
33. Blanck Mass – Dumb Flesh
34. Cloud Rat – Qliphoth
35. Shit & Shine – 54 Synth-Brass/38 Metal Guitar/65 Cathedral
36. Anthony Coleman – You
37. KEN Mode – Success
38. Torres – Sprinter 
39. Max Richter – From Sleep
40. Lightning Bolt – Fantasy Empire
41. Panopticon – Autumn Eternal
42. Oddisee – The Good Fight 
43. Joan Shelley – Over and Even
44. Sannhet – Revisionist
45. John Carpenter – Lost Themes
46. Corrections House – Know How To Carry A Whip
47. Nicole Dollanganger – Natural Born Losers
48. Dopethrone – Hochelaga
49. Noveller – Glacial Glow
50. Gnaw Their Tongues – Abyss of Longing Throats
51. Sexwitch – Sexwitch
52. Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Alone In The Universe
53. Baroness – Purple
54. Wilco – Star Wars 
55. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
56. Zombi – Shape Shift
57. Viet Kong – Viet Kong
58. Bjork – Vulnicura 
59. Krallice – Ygg Hurr
60. A$AP Rocky – At Long Last
61. Failure – The Heart Is A Monster
62. Minsk – The Crash and the Draw
63. NOW Ensemble – Dreamfall
64. Bill Fay – Who Is The Sender?
65. Goatsnake – Black Age Blues
66. A Place To Bury Strangers – Transfixiation
67. Teeth Of The Sea – Highly Deadly Black Tarantula
68. Caspian – Dust & Disquiet
69. Myrkur – M
70. Evening Hymns – Quiet Energies
71. Drudkh – Furrow Cut Short
72. Guapo – Obscure Knowledge
73. Josh Ritter – Sermon On The Rocks
74. The Necks – Vertigo
75. Lanterns On The Lake – Beings
76. Colleen – Captain Of None
77. Marduk – Frontschwein
78. Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat
79. Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld – Never Were The Way She Was
80. Deafheaven – New Bermuda
81. Laura Marling – Short Movie
82. Grimes – Art Angels
83. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
84. Soilwork – The Ride Majestic
85. Killing Joke – Pylon
86. Spectral Wound – Terra Nullius
87. Thighpaulsandra – The Golden Communion
88. Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
89. The Black Ryder – The Door Behind The Door
90. Monolord – Vaenir
91. Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
92. Enslaved – In Times
93. Beach House – Depression Cherry
94. Idlewild – Everything Ever Written
95. Liturgy – Ark Work
96. METZ – II
97. Vatican Shadow – Death Is Unity With God
98. Bang On A Can All Stars- Field Recordings
99. Joanna Newsom- Divers
100. Faith No More – Sol Invictus


Top 10 Black Metal Albums of 2015

Adobe Photoshop PDF1. Leviathan – Scar Sighted


Mgla2. Mgla – Exercises In Futility


Tsjuder3. Tsjuder – Antiliv


Panopticon - Autumn Eternal4. Panopticon – Autumn Eternal


Krallice Ygg Huur5. Krallice – Ygg Huur


Myrkur6. Myrkur – M


Drudkh7. Drudkh – Furrow Cut Short


Marduk - Frontschwein8. Marduk – Frontschwein 


Deafheaven - New Bermuda9. Deafheaven – New Bermuda


Spectral Wound10. Spectral Wound – Terra Nullius


Honorable Mentions

Cattle Decapitation – Anthropocene Extinction
Kadavar – Berlin
Mount Eerie – Sauna 
Horrendous – Anareta
Sir Richard Bishop – Tangier Sessions 
Dungen – Allas Sak 
Merzbow – Cuts of Guilt 
Indian Jewelry – Doing Easy 
Mika Vainio – Halfway To White 
Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence 
Maserati – Rehumanizer
Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard – Django and Jimmie 
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – The Traveling Kind
Run The Jewels – Meow The Jewels 
Wire – Wire 
Sun Kil Moon – Universal Themes
Bill Orcutt – Colonial Donuts 
Gruesome – Savage Land 
Battles – La Di Da Di
Leon Bridges – Coming Home
Gary Clark Jr – The Story of Sonny Boy Slim
Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar 
David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock 
BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul 
Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower 
Guy Garvey – Courting The Squall
Lower Dens – Escape From Evil  
Editors – In Dream 
Destroyer – Poison Season 
John Malkovich w/ Sandro & Alexandrakis – Like A Puppet Show 
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats – The Night Creeper 
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color 
Tempel – Moon Lit Our Path
Ryan Adams – 1989 
Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls 
Slayer – Repentless
Wrekmeister Harmonies – Night of Your Ascension 
Ghost – Meliora 
My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery 
Roomful Of Teeth – Render 
Jim O’rourke – Simple Songs 
Calexico – Edge Of The Sun
Patty Griffin – Servant Of Love 
Shining – IX / Everyone Everything Everywhere Ends 
Forgotten Tomb – Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love 
Mutoid Man – Bleeder 
Marriages – Salome 
Ufomammut – Ecate 
Shopping – Why Choose 
Fuzz – II 
Big Grams – Big Grams 
Scarface – Deeply Rooted 
Deantoni Parks – Technoself 
Jennylee – Right On
New Order – Music Complete 
Dave Gahan & Soulsavers – Angels & Ghosts
Martin Gore – MG
Mercury Rev – The Light In You 
Der Blutharsch & The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand – Joyride 
Electric Moon – Lunatic & Lunatics Revenge 
Sonar – Black Light 
Tame Impala – Currents
Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last
Damaged Bug – Cold Hot Plumbs 
The Soft Moon – Deeper 
Moon Duo – Shadow of the Sun
Swervedriver – I Wasn’t Born To Lose You 
Metric – Pagans In Vegas 
Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon 
Tamaryn – Cranekiss 
Deer Hunter – Fading Frontier 
Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness 
Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside 
Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden Of Delete 
Cannibal Ox – Blade Of The Ronin 
Tribulation – The Children Of The Night 
Tropic Of Cancer – Stop Suffering 
Damien Dubrovnik – Vegas Fountain 
Kerridge – Always Offended Never Ashamed
Shapednoise – Different Selves
Helm – Olympic Mess
Yellow Swans – Mort Aux Vaches
Sightings – Amusers & Puzzlers 
Egypt – Endless Flight 
Autopsy – Skull Grinder
Vanish Valley – Queen of the Concert 

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One thought on “Featured Lists: Henry Derek of Act of Defiance Picks His Albums of the Year

  1. This guy has a sick taste in music, just amazing. I’m under impression of how a person can have such a broad horizon of things he interested in, it’s literally a limitless amount of music from all the different genres and styles. I never heard of this guy, but after reading this I grabbed his Scar The Martyr & Act of Defiance stuff, and it’s no surprise his lyrics have such an eloquent touch to them, being also very meaninful.
    I’m not really into this whole yelling in music, but other than that I’m under deep impression.

    Liked by 1 person

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