On Thursday, Jeff Hahnemann, Guitarist for one of the “BIG FOUR BANDS” SLAYER, was found dead in his home in Southern California. Jeff along with Kerry King formed the Metal Band Slayer in 1982. In 2011, Hahnemann nearly lost his arm due to a spider bite. The injury initially went untreated but then the star guitarist began to be plagued with health problems. Recently though, his health had improved and he was in the studio working on a new Slayer Album.
The initial cause of death is being stated as liver failure, although the “Spider Bite” and reoccurring skin eating disorder has to have some link to his death. The actual skin disorder is called necrotizing fasciitis. This disease is extremely fast as far as progressing to the later stages. The disease actually involves bacteria that actually eats human flesh. The bacteria spreads easily through the subcutaneous region. Doctors are not sure if the infection can spread to the organs, however the fact that he died from liver failure may be an example of this occurring.
Jeff grew up in Los Angeles and was in a family of many war veterans. His interest in war is the direct influence on his music lyrics and war connotations. “Angel of Death”, which Jeff was responsible for writing, is widely criticized for its link to Nazi Activity in the Auschwitz Death Compound during World War II. Jeff wrote the songs “Angel of Death”, “Raining Blood”, “War Ensemble”, “Seasons in the Abyss”, and “Reigning Blood”, all of which are played at every Slayer Concert!
Jeff had been trying to rehab and a few guitarists including Exodus front man Gary Holt was filling in. As a huge Slayer fan…I am not sure how the band will move forward at this point. It’s similar to Pantera with Dimebag. I mean, Pantera has yet to have a reunion and it would be impossible to replicate Dimebag Darrel and his style of play. The same holds true for Hahnemann. He is an excellent lyricist and has wrote some of the most extreme riffs for Slayers material. It would be like Dave Mustaine passing away and trying to keep Megadeth going.
No matter what the circumstances are surrounding his death, Jeff will be greatly missed. I know today in his memory, I am going to have a Slayer marathon and listen to all of the CDs in order. Rest in Peace Jeff…we pray for your soul. We pray for your family, friends, and band members. We pray for all of those around the Metal Community affected by his loss. We pray for your fans. And as we close the page on your life…you start a new chapter in Heaven. God Bless.