The Scoop: Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman died Thursday, May 2 of liver failure at a hospital in Southern California. He was 49.
Hanneman hasn’t toured with Slayer since early 2011 when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, which is a flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite. Exodus’ Gary Holt has been filling in at live shows. However Hanneman did appear at the Big 4 concert in 2011 and played “South of Heaven” and “Angel of Death”—two of the most famous Slayer songs that he wrote.
The band released a statement saying, “Slayer is devastated to inform [you] that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11 a.m. this morning near his Southern California home. He was 49.”
Many metal musicians and fans descended on L.A. last night at Revolver’s Golden Gods, where Hanneman was honored and Slayer guitarist Kerry King held a toast to his fallen brother. King said there should not be a moment of silence, but a moment of noise.
Hanneman and King played a twin-lead guitar style that made the band one of very many reasons to be part of the “Big Four” of thrash metal along with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax.
While it isn’t clear what caused the liver failure, the Slayer co-founder is survived by his wife, sister and brothers.
The Spin: The impact Hanneman had on Slayer could never be understated. The hallmark of his art is well understood by fans. This is a deep and tragic loss for the metal community because you know it’s Slayer when you hear the riffs. May there be many moments of noise. See you South of Heaven Jeff, R.I.P.
The Question: What’s the impact Slayer had on you? Leave your stories below in the comments.