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RIP Jeff Hanneman, guitarist for Slayer

For metal fans, there may be no band more in-your-face brutal than Slayer. The name alone is enough to conjure fear in any pre-teen lucky enough to find a Slayer album in an older brother or sister’s collection. Add in the band’s occult iconography — inverted crosses and pentagrams — and the sonic attack style of its music and you understand why the band is one of America’s Big Four. That’s the list of America’s best thrash metal bands and includes Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax.

Slayer guitarist and founding member Jeff Hanneman died today at age 49. I’ve never been a huge Slayer fan, but had plenty for friends who are. I saw them play a few years back and was surprised at how many songs I knew. Must have picked them up via osmosis or some such. For metal fans, it is a loss.

Here’s a video of the band doing its classic “Raining Blood.”
For those who believe that death happen in threes, we should sadly be OK for awhile.

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