Decibel magazine’s July issue (on newsstands in June) features a nine-page tribute to late SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman in the form of a moving retrospective obituary, some of Hanneman‘s most biting quotes, and a litany of heartfelt remembrances from EXODUS, Philip Anselmo (DOWN, PANTERA), AT THE GATES, TESTAMENT, CANNIBAL CORPSE and countless other contemporaries, including CANNIBAL CORPSE bassist Alex Webster.
“I can’t overstate the effect Jeff Hanneman‘s guitar playing and songwriting had on me and the other guys in CANNIBAL CORPSE,” Alex said. “Of all of our influences, SLAYER is probably the one band that had the greatest effect on our sound, and Jeff‘s contributions were obviously a huge part of what makes SLAYER SLAYER.
“For me personally, I think his songwriting is what influenced me the most. My idea of what a great extreme metal song should be has largely been shaped by music he wrote.
“Jeff wrote some of metal’s greatest songs: ‘Angel Of Death’ is considered by many to be the greatest thrash metal song of all time, and it’s just one of many classics he wrote or co-wrote with SLAYER.
“I consider the album ‘Reign In Blood’ to be one of metal’s great masterpieces, and Jeff‘s playing and writing clearly played a big part in that. I’ve listened to that album literally thousands of times since it was released, and I still do regularly. Simply put, it rules.
“If you look through SLAYER‘s discography and see all of the music and lyrics Jeff wrote, it’ll really drive home just how important he was to our scene.
“My life wouldn’t have been the same without Jeff Hanneman‘s songs, and I think there are thousands of others who can say the same thing.
“Rest in peace, Jeff — you were truly one of metal’s all-time greats.”
Decibel‘s Jeff Hanneman tribute issue can be purchased here.
Hanneman passed away on May 2 from liver failure at the age of 49.
Members of SLAYER released a statement on May 9 saying that Hanneman died of alcohol-related cirrhosis.
Hanneman 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.