Jeff Hanneman, Slayer's Legendary Axe-Man Dead at 49

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

To say that Slayer has brought me moments of happiness is an understatement.

From the aggressive thrash to the hepped-up on meth speed metal with hardcore punk underlinings, Slayer's contribution to reducing the suck factor of the 1980s is undeniable. Proud of wearing '70s metal on his sleeve, as well as his punk rock roots, guitarist Jeff Hanneman was essential in influencing hundreds, if not thousands of young heshers to pick up the instrument and rock out.

Hanneman might be remembered as a wild party man who fully ingested the heavy metal lifestyle, and while much of the Slayer mythos might emanate from that dark pit of personal despair, Henneman recovered from his sins of excess. Unfortunately in 2011, he contracted necrotizing fasciitis from a spider bite, and his days in Slayer came to an end.

Though there were a few instances of recovery, it seems like the disease continued to affect him enough to permanently remove him from his rightful place on the metal stage. In a way, given Slayer's past with infuriating humorless Christians and nervy record store-owners, it was somewhat the way to go given that necrotizing fasciitis is a destroyer of the flesh.

Liver failure is the cause of death but the link to the skin disease is tenuous at best at this hour; Henneman died at a hospital near his California home surrounded by his loving wife Kathy and his siblings.

The only way to celebrate his memory is through the work-appropriate music of Slayer. Here are a few of our favorite albums in their full glory. Let's be like Andrew WK and #PartyForSlayer!!!

5. Reign in Blood

4. South of Heaven

3. Undisputed Attitude

2. Diabolus in Musica

1. Christ Illusion

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.