Slayer guitarist dies of liver failure

Founding member of pioneeering thrash metal band dies in LA hospital

 

The death has taken place of pioneering musician and founding member of thrash metal band Slayer, Jeff Hanneman. He was 49.

Hanneman died yesterday of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital. His wife Kathy was at his side.

Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, following a suspected spider bite in early 2011 and subsequently underwent a series of skin grafts. He recently returned to song-writing in anticipation of returning to the studio with the band.

Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald said that it is believed the spider bite contributed to the failure of Hanneman’s liver, but it is unclear whether a post-mortem examination will be scheduled.

The band issued the following statement:

“Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11am this morning near his Southern California home. 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 Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 - 2013)”

Hanneman started Slayer with fellow guitarist Kerry King in California in 1981. The band, which quickly made an impact on the underground metal scene went on to become of the most influential heavy metal bands of the genre, and is credited as one of the “big four” which also includes Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth.

Hecontributed to every Slayer album to-date and wrote the songs South of Heaven, Angel of Death, Raining Blood and Seasons of the Abyss.

“The music industry has lost a true trailblazer, and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, his bandmates and fans around the world who mourn his untimely passing,” said Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, in a statement.

The band is scheduled to play a number of concerts in Ireland next month.

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