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Pig Destroyer’s JR Hayes tells us his top 10 albums of 2018

Pig Destroyer at Gramercy Theatre
Pig Destroyer at Gramercy Theatre in September (more by Greg Cristman)

Pig Destroyer returned this year with the new album Head Cage, which is their first album with a bassist, their most accessible yet, and one of their best. It’s also one of the best albums of the year (and it’s already begun landing on some year-end lists). We asked frontman JR Hayes for a list of his own favorite albums of 2018, and he sent a list that includes Thou, Outer Heaven, Deceased, Mantar, Funeral Mist, and more, along with commentary on each pick. Check out his list below.

Pig Destroyer have just a few shows left before the year ends: Portland, OR and Berkeley, CA opening for The Black Dahlia Murder this week (with Power Trip, Khemmis, and more also on the bill), followed by the LA edition of Decibel Metal & Beer Fest (which also includes TBDM and Khemmis).

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JR HAYES’ (PIG DESTROYER) TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2018

1) Shining – X-Varg Utan Flock
A lot of people I know really hate these guys, but I think they’re fucking rad.

2) Deceased – Ghostly White
Like everything post-Fearless Undead Machines, it strikes a perfect balance between death metal and classic metal.

3) Outer Heaven – Realms of Eternal Decay
Cannibal Corpse style death metal with punishing riff after punishing riff. Top shelf stuff.

4) Skull Fist – Way of the Road
Not as speedy and wild as their earlier stuff, but still a lot of fun. Dig those unashamed hair metal vibes.

5) Kill Everything – Scorched Earth
Ex-Devourment dudes start a new slamming death metal band? Uh, where do I sign up?

6) Thou – Magus
This might be their best album, and they’ve put out some really, really cool ones.

7) Wake – Misery Rites
Most ruthless grindcore album of the year, no doubt.

8) Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods
A welcome and completely unexpected return to form. Well played, sirs.

9) Funeral Mist – Hekatomb
Some of the best black metal riffs I’ve heard in a while. The vocals are sick as well.

10) Mantar – The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze
I love this band’s pounding, stripped-down approach. Still trying to catch them live.

Pig Destroyer — 2018 Tour Dates
11/29 Bossanova Portland, OR w/ The Black Dahlia Murder, Khemmis, GosT, Skeletal Remains
11/30 The UC Theatre Berkeley, CA w/ The Black Dahlia Murder, Power Trip, Ghoul, Khemmis, GosT, Skeletal Remains
12/1 Decibel Metal & Beer Fest Los Angeles, CA w/ Testament, The Black Dahlia Murder, Khemmis, Necrot, Pounder, Trappist

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