Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman has died of liver failure at the age of 49.
Part of the Big Four, Slayer helped to define what would become known as thrash metal. Fans of both the primordial sludge of Black Sabbath and the light speed tempos of hardcore punk, the Californian group would add a new ferocity to metal’s template.
Blessed with incredible chops, perhaps the finest, most keenly honed weapon in Slayer’s arsenal was Jeff Hannman’s guitar playing. Atonal, in-yer-face and astonishingly fast, his solos pushed albums such as ‘Reign In Blood’ to fresh heights of metal abandon.
Remaining a stalwart member of the group across three decades, a spider bite in 2009 saw Jeff Hannman contract an extremely rare skin-eating disease. Forced to undergo surgery, live performances became increasingly rare.
Last night Slayer posted a message to fans, revealing that Jeff Hanneman has passed away following liver failure. He was 49 years old.
The message opens: “Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 - 2013).”
“Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. He was 49. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.”
Our thoughts are with his friends and family.
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