Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman Dead at 49

2 May


Kerry King is the guy people typically identify as “that guitarist from Slayer” since, unlike Jeff Hanneman, he seemed to revel in appearing in magazines and on TV. But one glance at the liner notes reveals Hanneman wrote the lion’s share of classic Slayer tunes, in turn influencing legions of young guitarists. I’m pretty sure I can still play half of the South of Heaven record from memory and my Slayer fandom was always pretty mild compared to most junior metalheads. I even caught a former classical guitar teacher, in his mid-60s at the time, warming up in his practice room with the main riff from ‘Spill the Blood’.

Hanneman had a creepy fascination with the Holocaust and the history of the Third Reich that occasionally manifested in tasteless lyrical/graphic imagery, so reading over-the-top praise for the guy can make one feel a little queasy. But to my knowledge his actual statements on these matters were pretty mundane and I get the feeling he never wanted to be hagiographed anyway.



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