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Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman dies

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Jeff Hanneman
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Image Rights: 1

Jeff Hanneman, guitarist for legendary thrash metal band Slayer, has died of liver failure. He was 49. The band posted the news on their website and Facebook page Thursday. Hanneman founded the band with fellow guitarist Kerry King in 1981 and created a sound influenced by heavy metal and punk, writing Slayer classics like “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death.”

The full statement on Slayer’s website reads:

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.

In 2011, Hanneman suffered a spider bite and contracted a flesh-eating disease, taking time off from the band to recuperate, but it is unclear if this contributed to his death.

Fans and fellow musicians, including Anthrax, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, Lamb of God, and Papa Roach, tweeted their condolences.