Slayer guitarist dies: Jeff Hanneman co-founded Slayer

Jeff Hanneman, guitarist and founder of Slayer, one of the 'Big Four' thrash metal bands of the 1980s, was reported dead by the Slayer website.

Laurent Gillieron / Keystone / AP / File
Heavy metal fans 'headbang' during the 3rd Sonisphere heavy metal music festival in Yverdon, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 30, 2012.

U.S. guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a co-founder of the seminal heavy metal band Slayer, died in Southern California on Thursday, the band said in a statement posted on their website. He was 49.

Hanneman founded Slayer with fellow guitarist Kerry King in the early 1980s in suburban Los Angeles. The band was known as one of the "big four" thrash metal groups of the 1980s, along with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica.

The thrash metal genre was distinct for its extremely fast tempo, big double-bass drums, and dark themes, often dealing with Satanism, war, and serial killers.

Music website Allmusic.com said the band's trademark "full-throttle velocity, wildly chaotic guitar solos, and powerful musical chops paint an effectively chilling sonic background for their obsessive chronicling of the dark side."

Hanneman is best known as a writer of the songs "Raining Blood" and "Angel of Death" from the 1986 album "Reign of Blood," which is considered a landmark of the genre.

Hanneman is survived by his wife and three siblings.

(Editing by Paul Simao)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.