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Music Over 40; R.I.P. Jeff Hanneman

Updated on May 3, 2013

Farewell to a thrash pioneer

Sad news from the world of metal on May 2, 2013. Jeff Hanneman, who had suffered from various health issues over the last couple of years, died of liver failure in Los Angeles.

Simply stated, at age 49, the man was gone too soon.

The man was heralded figure in thrash metal music. His dual guitar assaults with co-conspirator Kerry King are the stuff of legend in the extreme metal community. So much so they were ranked together at #10 on Guitar Worlds "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time".

He was a master soloist. The earth shattering wails and screams from the tremolo were the highlight of many of Slayer's best loved songs.

Unfortunately, his death may not get the attention it deserves from the world of music on the whole because of the extreme nature of Slayer's music, but it damn well should. He was a gifted player and for those of us who love our music loud, fast and aggressive, there is not substitute for what he brought to the table.

This piece was not meant to be a long winded rant about individual solo's or playing styles or even the importance of the "Big 4" (which for the uneducated are thrash metals titans Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and of course, Slayer).

While I know the metal world will deeply mourn Jeff's passing, much in the same way we mourned Dimebag Darrell Abbots passing over 8 years ago, I hope to call attention to it in some small way to the mainstream music community.

It is not lost on me that Jeff was only 49 as I am only 2 years younger. Ill have to go find my Raining Blood CD and put in on in memoriam.

Rest in peace, Jeff. Those left behind are saddened by what never came to pass, but will be comforted by that which was.

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    • SkySlave profile image

      Skyler DeCristoforo 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      One of my long time favorite guitar players. So highly talented live and in the studio. Slayer was the answer to the chaos that was always in my brain growing up. A horrible loss, Rest in peace brother! Thank you for writing this hub, it , means allot to me.