It's with true sadness that we report that legendary Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman has died at the age of 49. The tragic news was confirmed by a press release issued moments ago.

Hanneman passed away today, May 2, at 11AM PST this morning near his Southern California home. The iconic Slayer shredder had been forced to abandon Slayer's live dates after contracting necrotizing fasciitis in 2011, most likely from a spider bite. However, necrotizing fasciitis has not been named as the official cause of Hanneman's death. The guitarist's passing has been attributed to liver failure in an official press release sent out by Slayer's publicist.

The official press release reads:

Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure.  He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.

We're truly devastated by the passing of Jeff Hanneman, one of metal's all-time greatest guitarists. Hanneman, the composer of 'Angel of Death,' 'Raining Blood' and dozens of other Slayer classics, will be missed by millions of metalheads worldwide. We'd like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Jeff Hanneman, along with his brothers in Slayer.

Rest in peace, Jeff. You were one of the greatest of all time. You will never be forgotten.

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