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).

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.

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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