Slayer fans are mourning as Jeff Hanneman dies at 49
Jeff Hanneman was, along with Kerry King, the founding member of Slayer the Californian based trash metal band. Formed in 1981 Slayer steadily built a loyal following with their style of trash metal characterised by fast tremelo guitar playing, double bass druming and shouted vocals. However, they did not reach mainstream fame until the release of Reign in Blood in 1986. This album led to them being recognised as one of the “big four” trash acts alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. At their height they courted much controversy because of the content of their song lyrics which covered everything from necrophilia, Satanism, Warfare and religion. This all generated album bans, lawsuits and critiscm from religious groups and the public but this did not stop them becoming highly influential. Many many modern metal bands cite Slayer as being a major influence on their music and style.
The guitar style of the band was defined by the breakneck speed of the rythmn and the technical prowess of the two guitarists which combined the structure of hardcore tempos and speed metal, the result was an agressive assault on the senses. The Reign in Blood album was the bands fastest performed at an average of 220 beats per minute. Gradually their music became darker as Hanneman and King experimented with drop tuning. After Reign in Blood, Diabolus in Musica was the bands first with drop D tuning and then they used C# tuning on God Hates us All. Their songs were highlighted by Hanneman and King’s dual guitar solos which have been called “wildly chaotic” and “twisted genius” but demonstrated the technical qualities of the two guitarists. This was exemplified in Rain in Blood from the 1986 album Reign in Blood, check it out below as this demonstrates the Slayer style.
Although they never publicly announced their sales worldwide it is estimated that they were in the high 20 millions underlining the force that Slayer were in the trash metal world.
Since 2011 Hanneman had been suffering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh eating disease, which he believed he contracted through a spider bite. He was being treated in a local hospital when he suffered liver failure.
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