It's been over a month since the tragic passing of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman. The fact that we will never again see what is undoubtedly the nastiest group to come from the Big Four of thrash return to the stage with its original lineup intact has settled in. We have even come to grips with the fact that Slayer will more than likely never truly return to the bludgeoning grace of its golden era output without the fallen guitarist's punk-infused thrash riffing and manic whammy bar abuse fueling the madness.
Slayer has continued to function without Hanneman's involvement for an extended period due to the guitarist allegedly contracting a flesh-eating bacteria (other reports claim the alcoholism that killed him had also affected his ability to tour). But we had always hoped that Slayer might one day ride again with the original lineup, and maybe at some point make another record as hard as Reign in Blood.
Tomorrow night, 7 of South Florida's reverent heavy acts will convene at Churchill's Pub to officially say goodbye to Jeff Hanneman with a proper tribute to the man and his music.
While Slayer's impact and legacy are in no-danger of being misunderstood, Hanneman's own contributions to the band are perhaps lesser known than they should be. The truth of the matter is that he was responsible for the majority of the band's most iconic riffs and lyrics. Were one to delete the Hanneman tracks from Slayer's catalogue, you'd be left with a rather boring live set.
To set the mood and prep you up for tomorrow night, here are five of our favorite (and arguably the best) Slayer tracks that Jeff Hanneman penned. May you rest in power, brother.
5. "War Ensamble"
Lyrics co-written with Tom Araya, music credited to Hanneman. You're moshing.
4. "Seasons in the Abyss"
Hanneman is responsible for the music only on this fan favorite, but holy shit, what a collection of completely insane riffs. From the spooky intro to the quicksand churn the song becomes, this is a format forging track.
3. "Post Mortem"
Another track from Reign in Blood credited solely to Hanneman, this song is now a thrash metal archetype.
2. "Raining Blood"
Co-written by guitarist and shitty tattoo enthusiast, Kerry King, this is, of course, Slayer's signature song. Hanneman's mark is all over the breakneck changes of riffs and the epic ride to the end. We would love to find an accurate statistic of how many people have hurt themselves headbanging to this song.
1. "Angel of Death"
If there was a signature Hanneman track, it's "Angel of Death." Perhaps the ultimate thrashterpiece, this track opens Reign in Blood with a destructive force that is just so perfectly satisfying. The lyrics, which Hanneman penned, have been the source of much of the controversy Slayer has endured, because they center around Hanneman's interest in the Nazi atrocities.
A Slayer Show: Tribute to Jeff Hanneman, 9 p.m., June 14, at Churchill's Pub. Cover is $15. And wear your SLAYER shirts. Bands include: Reapermanser, Apocalyptic Assault, Cyst, Frostbite, Anger, Assailed, Shadow Heart.
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