The metal community lost one of its most respected and talented founding fathers on Thursday. Jeff Hanneman of Slayer died of liver failure at Hemet Valley Medical Center, near his home in Southern California. Jeff was bitten by a spider a little over two years ago and contracted a rare skin tissue disease called necrotizing fasciitis. The disease is a rapidly progressing monster that literally destroys skin and even deep tissue. Jeff endured several surgeries, including skin grafts and a medically induced coma as he fought to overcome the serious condition.
Jeff co-founded Slayer with Kerry King in 1981 and released ten studio albums after signing with Metal Blade records for their first two albums. The band shocked the music metal world after signing with the burgeoning hip hop label, Def Jam in 1986. Slayer have an untarnished reputation for delivering undiluted metal to the world despite the trends the genre has seen since its inception over 40 years ago. The lasting impact on the genre is something that will endure forever, inspiring musicians the world over. Jeff was a passionate fan of the Oakland Raiders and loved collecting World War II memorabilia. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers, Michael and Larry.
Pretty depressing news, kids. I’m a huge fan of both Slayer and Henneman. His tremolo-laced solos were a mixture of raw intensity and face-melting aggression that no metal band could cover note for note. I vividly remember learning the opening riff to South of Heaven at a friend’s house in my hometown. I started playing guitar when I was 17 years after seeing Metallica on the Master of Puppets tour. As much as we worshiped Metallica back in the day, Slayer exhibited an exemplary approach to making music and love for their fans. You didn’t see Slayer making films with their fucking therapist – the music was therapy enough. Jeff will be greatly missed by fans from every walk of life, from every corner of the globe, never to be duplicated again in a world that drifts farther and farther away from actual music every year. Rest in peace, Jeff, you will be missed. Now, let’s get to the music.
If you’re a metal fan – this better be in your top five. They don’t do riffs like this anymore.
Slayer AND Christmas?
Old dudes and Slayer?
Church and Slayer?
A Slayer ballad? Fuck no. Slayer didn’t do ballads.
That’s it, guys. Listen to some Slayer tonight and light a candle for this metal lord gone too soon.