Sad news today - actually, shocking would be more precise - when it was announced that Jeff Hanneman had passed away.
Jeff Hanneman on Wikipedia
It was announced that he had died of liver failure, though it is initially unknown as to whether this is as a result of the disease he has been fighting for the past three years. In 2011 it was revealed that he had contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh eating virus that he apparently caught from a spider bite in a friend's hottub. The resulting damage to his arm meant he was basically unable to play the guitar at all, and has meant he has rarely played live since that time.
(Note here that a week later, on May 9, it was revealed that he had died of alcohol-related cirrhosis, the severity of which neither he nor his family were aware of almost right up until his death).
It is another tragic loss to the metal music world. Hanneman was the primary songwriter for Slayer, being sole or co-writer in up to 75% of their music since he and fellow guitarist Kerry King formed the band back in 1981. The majority of their best known and greatest songs have Hanneman's fingerprints all over them. Songs such as "Raining Blood", "War Ensemble", "South of Heaven", "Seasons in the Abyss" and "Angel of Death" have his mark on them, and they are metal anthems for the ages.
Slayer will continue, and hopefully with Gary Holt on guitar, who has filled Jeff's boots on tour for the past two years. How the band goes now that the songwriting will shift to almost totally into Kerry King's hands will be interesting to see.
Vale Jeff Hanneman. One of the great guitarists and songwriters, not just in heavy metal, but in all of the music world.
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Friday, May 3, 2013
R.I.P. Jeff Hanneman. Slayer's Heart of Songwriting.
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