R.I.P. Slayer Founding Member Jeff Hanneman

Slayer pulled off something few metal bands ever have or ever will — they were for both metalhards and casual observers to the genre — in that they were revolutionaries and appealed to those who hunt down Leather Charm bootlegs, while also accessible enough to follow Simon & Garfunkel on iTunes. So, it’s with a heavy heart and two devil horns down that I pass along the news that Slayer founding member/guitarist Jeff Hanneman has passed away.

Just over two years after contracting a rare skin tissue disease, Slayer guitarist and songwriter Jeff Hanneman died on Thursday from liver failure at Hemet Valley Medical Center, near his home in Southern California’s Inland Empire area. Slayer made the news public on Thursday afternoon, announcing that the band “is devastated” and calling Hanneman, who was 49, their bandmate and brother.

Hanneman has been off the road since 2011, when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis — most likely from a spider bite — a quick-progressing disease that eats away at the flesh from layers of skin and tissue. (Via)

F*ckin’ spiders, man. Hanneman was one of rock’s greatest guitarists, his solos sounding like a blinding fury, always on the verge of twisting themselves into a messy, knotted hurricane of noise but never quite doing so (which is what made them so exhilarating), and it’s a shame he’s gone so soon. Today, we bang our heads in memory.

“The Antichrist” (Show No Mercy)

“Necrophiliac” (Hell Awaits)

“Raining Blood” (Reign in Blood)

“Behind the Crooked Cross” (South of Heaven)

“War Ensemble” (Seasons in the Abyss)

(Via Billboard)