ANTHRAX played a snippet of the SLAYER classic “Raining Blood” on May 15 at HSBC Brasil in São Paulo, Brazil as a tribute to SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died earlier in the month at the age of 49. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
In a statement to LA Weekly, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian said about Hanneman: “There was a real dichotomy knowing Jeff. On one hand, he was a really great guy — easy-going, very kick-back and chill, friendly, loved to laugh — and on the other hand, he wrote some of the darkest, most brutal lyrics and riffs in the history of metal. If he had only ever written ‘Angel Of Death’, that alone would be enough to claim the throne of evil, let alone the catalogue of work he created. He was a singular talent and a fun person to be around. I’ll miss him.”
Added ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante: “Jeff had a great fucking laugh; I heard it quite a bit throughout the years. The man who wrote such lyrics as ‘feel the knife pierce you intensely’ had a great sense if humor. I will remember him for the music he gave and the intensity he brought our metal world.”
Members of SLAYER released a statement on May 9 saying that Hanneman died of alcohol-related cirrhosis. He is credited for writing many of the band’s classic songs, including “Angel Of Death” and “South Of Heaven”.
The guitarist, who passed away in Los Angeles on May 2, had actually not been playing with SLAYER for more than two years since he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard in January 2011. The infection ravaged the flesh and tissues of Hanneman‘s arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement and left him near death at several points.
Hanneman‘s last appearance with SLAYER was in April 2011, when he played an encore with the band at the “Big Four” concert in Indio, California.