Slayer - Repentless
In most parallel universes, this album doesn't exist. In the hiatus between the release of their previous album World Painted Blood and this one, their lead singer & bass player Tom has had surgery to to put a titanium plate in his neck to repair damage caused by years of headbanging, while their co-lead guitar player Jeff first contracted necrotising fasciitis from a spider bite, and then died last year of liver failure. Oh, and their drummer left - again. I think most quartets in their situation would have called it a day after that lot. 30+ years and 12 albums into their career, no-one would have cried foul. But this is Slayer we're talking about. Slayer who have spent a career writing and performing songs about the dark side of humanity and the terrible things that will assault you from all sides. Slayer who have taken this adversity and used it to inform one of their best ever albums, a tightly wound slab of thrash that would have sat proudly amongst the high quality canon of thrash albums in the late 80s when it was the defining sound of metal. Repentless by title, repentless by nature, this is not just a Slayer album, it's a Slay-AAARRRGGGHH album.