Metal legend, neigh God, Jeff Hannenman inexplicably died earlier this week after succumbing to complications with his liver, but what was was really behind his untimely demise? The answer is actually as metal as you'd expect as coroners are tracing his death back to a spider bite he received nearly two years ago and the flesh-eating bacteria that developed over time and nearly cost him his arm before it began to affect his liver and eventually took his life.

Currently, neither doctors nor any of Hanneman's family have been able to discuss the exact cause of death, however Slayer spokesperson Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald said Hanneman was on the mend from necrotizing fasciitis, a rare flesh-eating infection that affects the deeper layers of skin and the immediate tissues below it. For those unwilling to check out Wikipedia, the infection can develop from a minor cut or scratch and spread at an alarming rate; Robinson-Fitzgerald blamed the spider bite, for which he failed to seek immediate treatment for when he receiving it whilst in a friends hot tub two years ago.

Jeff Hanneman
Jeff Hanneman will not be forgotten soon.

Flesh eating bacteria cannot cause liver failure of cause, and although Hanneman had received a number of operations to remove dead and dying tissue from his arm last year, doctors did not anticipate that the a form of strep bacteria that can cause streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (which can lead to liver failure) would also develop in his infected wound. Again, this is not an official report on Hannenman's death, but from the statements issues by the band and by Robinson-Fitzgerald, this seems to be the most likely reason behind his death. The spider that Hanneman bitten by was never caught and thus it is unknown what species it was and whether it was lethally venomous, although it is assumed that it may have been a the brown recluse spider, uncommon in most homes.

There has been no announcement as to whether an autopsy will be scheduled and no funeral arrangements have been made yet, but you can understand the quiet from those close to Hanneman at this difficult time. Hanneman, who co-founded the pioneering thrash metal band in the early 80's, had been working on new material whilst he was in hospital and was integral to the band's creativity, often penning their songs by himself. For the sake of Hanneman's legacy it is unlikely that the band will fold any time soon, and this new material may eventually make it's way to a general release. R.I.P. Jeff, keep shredding from beyond the grave!

'Seasons in the Abyss'