RIP Jeff Hanneman of Slayer.
Slayer's Jeff Hanneman dies of liver failure following spider bite
Musician died of liver failure while recovering from a skin-eating condition he contracted after being bitten by a spider Share2247 Email Staff and agencies guardian.co.uk, Friday 3 May 2013 07.50 BST
Jeff Hanneman, guitarist and co-founder of thrash metal band Slayer, who has died of liver failure at the age of 49. Photograph: Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage
American guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a co-founder of the heavy metal band Slayer, died in southern California on Thursday, the band said in a statement posted on their website. He was 49.
"Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure," the band said.
The guitarist had been recovering from a spider bite which had left him with necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease which attacks subcutaneous tissue.
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.
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 thrash genre.
Fellow musicians took to Twitter to express their grief. Slash, guitarist with Guns'n'Roses, said: "Tragic & shocking news about Jeff Hanneman. He is going to missed by so many. What a sad day for Metal. RIP man", while Andrew WK said "Jeff Hanneman will always be a metal god. A true master, he gave energy and excitement to millions, and will continue to."
Hanneman is survived by his wife, Kathy, and three siblings.