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Metal band Slayer confirmed that Jeff Hanneman’s cause of death was alcohol related to cirrhosis of the liver. The group also said that they are planning a tribute to their late founding guitarist.
In a statement posted on their website, the group said that the “official cause of Jeff's death was alcohol related cirrhosis.”
They noted that, “While he had his health struggles over the years, including the recent Necrotizing fasciitis infection that devastated his well-being, Jeff and those close to him were not aware of the true extent of his liver condition until the last days of his life.” The group concluded, “Contrary to some reports, Jeff was not on a transplant list at the time of his passing, or at any time prior to that. In fact, by all accounts, it appeared that he had been improving – he was excited and looking forward to working on a new record.”
Hanneman had dealt with Necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, in 2011 that nearly cost him his arm. It forced him to take a break from the band and only performed with them once before his death. While some speculated that this was caused by a spider bite and may have lead to his death, last night’s statement confirmed that this was not the case.
Kerry King and Tom Araya added statements remembering their bandmate. “Jeff was a lifeline of Slayer, he wrote so many of the songs that the band will always be known for. He had a good heart, he was a good guy,” Araya said.
A celebration of Hanneman’s life is planned for later in the month and will be open to the public.
Hanneman died last week. He was 49-years-old.