Jeff Hanneman, one of the founding guitarists of the pioneering thrash metal band Slayer, died May 3rd in Southern California of liver failure. He was 49. Hanneman had been on hiatus from Slayer since early 2011, when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that doctors believed might have been caused by a spider bite. Hanneman almost lost his arm, and was briefly placed in a medically-induced coma. After a series of skin grafts, he had been working on his physical rehabilitation, including playing guitar; the door had been left open for his return to Slayer upon recovery. Hanneman performed on every Slayer release to date, and wrote many of the band's career-defining songs, including "Angel of Death," "South of Heaven," "Raining Blood" and "War Ensemble."
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