Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman Dead at 49


Story by Anne Erickson

Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman has passed away at the age of 49

Slayer guitarist and songwriter Jeff Hanneman passed away today (May 2). The musician, 49, died from liver failure at a local hospital near his home in Southern California’s Inland Empire area.

Slayer broke the news on Thursday afternoon, stating in a press release that they were “devastated” by the loss of their “brother and bandmate.”

Hanneman’s passing falls on the same day as Revolver magazine’s Golden Gods Awards, an annual awards ceremony paying tribute to outstanding hard rock and heavy metal bands, which Slayer has appeared at in previous years.

Hanneman’s musicianship goes well beyond his longstanding work with Slayer. He songs have been recorded by a variety of heavy music bands, including Children of Bodom, Hatebreed and Cradle of Filth, among others. As for his work with Slayer, he was a major part of the band’s songwriting, contributing lyrics and music to Slayer classics such as “Raining Blood,” “War Ensemble” and “Seasons in the Abyss.”

He is survived by Kathy, his wife of 16 years, sister Kathy and two brothers, Michael and Larry.