SLAYER - Jeff Hanneman R.I.P.; BraveWords From Greg Pratt

May 9, 2013, 4 years ago

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BraveWords staff members remember the late SLAYER guitar legend Jeff Hanneman who tragically passed away suddenly on May 2nd.

By Greg Pratt

Pray to the moon, when it is round

Death with you shall then abound

What you seek, for can't be found

In sea or sky or underground

It's all about the wrist. Hetfield, Petrozza, Hanneman. It's about that totally indescribable feeling of fast thrash riffing; it's the way certain songs, certain riffs and rhythm guitar lines get stuck in every metalhead's head when they're walking down the road, stuck at work, doing dishes. It's just a feeling. Not everyone understands; Jeff Hanneman certainly understood.

The SLAYER guitarist had one of metal's best wrists. He was responsible for more of those frantic rhythm lines getting stuck in my head than any other metal guitarist, ever. He didn't just create metal; he created feeling. Punch you in the gut, get your adrenaline racing, make you smile feeling. Slayer make me happy, keep me going, give me energy. I'm not alone in that.

Like everyone, I have lots of fond Slayer memories. First time I heard Reign In Blood. First time the intro riff to 'Raining Blood' blew me away (it still does, every single time I hear it). First time I heard 'War Ensemble'. These are not insignificant moments in the life of a metalhead. Today, one of the men responsible for them has left us.

The gates of pearl have turned to gold

It seems you've lost your way

Death isn't a tragedy. Death is a part of life, and when it's a life as well lived as Hanneman's, it's not a tragedy. But him being taken from us all so young is a tragedy. He had more life affirming to do through his guitar, more mornings to brighten up with amazing riffs, more concerts to bring the noise at. Today, a large part of thrash metal died.

But, shit: stop moping around. Crank up your favourite Slayer and raise a beer high for Hanneman. It was never about feeling bad; it was about taking a life that isn't always top notch and making it great. That's what happened every single goddamn time Slayer came on the stereo: life got great. And it will continue to, always, thanks to what Hanneman has done for heavy metal. He's dead, but he'll live forever.

Awaiting the hour of reprisal

Your time slips away

Cheers, Jeff. You'll never be forgotten. We'll see you on the other side.

Read more BraveWords tributes below:

"Metal" Tim

Martin Popoff

David Perri

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