Earlier today, Slayer revealed that guitarist and original member Jeff Hanneman passed away. While he had been sidelined from the road for over two years due to an infected spider bite, Hanneman reportedly suffered from liver failure. Hanneman was 49 years old.

Slayer issued the following statement confirming the news of Hanneman’s death:

“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.

Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 – 2013)”

It’s unclear how Hanneman’s death will affect Slayer’s long-awaited new album. However, this is without question a major loss for both Slayer and the metal community. Hanneman played a major role in the band both onstage and in the studio, having written some of Slayer’s staple songs including “Angel Of Death” and “Raining Blood.” Hanneman’s last appearance onstage with Slayer was at the Big 4 show in California back in 2011, where he joined the band to play the “South Of Heaven” and “Angel Of Death.” Fan filmed footage of that performance can be seen below. Our condolences go out to Hanneman’s family, friends and bandmates.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”344″]http://youtu.be/lUCC6tsoP5c[/youtube]