Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman Dies At 49

Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman died this morning at the age of 49.

The SF Gate reports that Hanneman was at a hospital in Southern California this morning when his liver failed.

The band writes on Facebook:

“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.”

Hanneman, who was one of the original members of the groundbreaking thrash metal band, has been battling health issues for the last few years. Hanneman nearly lost his arm last year after he was bitten by a spider and was placed into a medically induced coma.

Hanneman had to pull out of the band’s 2012 tour dates in order to have several operations to remove the dead tissue from his arm.

Slayer was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. The group rose to fame in 1986 with the release of their album Reign in Blood. Slayer is considered one of “the big four” metal acts of the 1980s, along with Metallica, Anthrax and MegaDeath, and has sold millions of albums worldwide. The group has also won a couple of Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance.

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[Photo Via Victoria Morse]