On Thursday May 2nd, 2013, Slayer had released the unfortunate news via their official Twitter and Facebook pages that their guitarist and songwriter Jeff Hanneman had passed away.
Following on from a tentative absence from the band’s live shows due to extensive recovery from a bacterial infection of necrotizing fasciitis in 2011, Hanneman died in a Southern Californian hospital, where the cause of death was put down to liver failure. It is currently unknown whether this was related to the fact of his infection, thought to have been contracted from a spider bite during an Australian tour, though the possibility of a connection has not been entirely ruled out by various media networks.
One of Slayer’s original members since their beginnings in 1981, Hanneman was noted by fans and peers to be the “quieter” one of the group, in contrast to singer Tom Araya and band leader Kerry King. However, despite his reserved nature, he was also one of the key driving forces behind the band’s notoriety and critical success; his song and lyric-writing credits include many of Slayer’s most well-known songs, not least of all “Raining Blood”, “Angel of Death”, “Behind the Crooked Cross” and “Tormentor”.
Since the news of his death had broken through online, various bands and musicians came forth via Facebook, Twitter and their own websites to express their condolences and share what they knew of Hanneman.
Rob Flynn of Machine Head, noted for a past feud with Kerry King, wrote up an honest account of his memories on Jeff, which can be read here
A tribute by King, performed live at the Revolver Golden Gods show on Thursday night, can be seen over here
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