by Brett Stevens on May 2, 2013
A fitting tribute to a true metal god
“For death is certain to one who is born; to one who is dead, birth is certain;therefore, thou shalt not grieve for what is unavoidable.”
The Gita for the guitarist
Very, very sad news.
We owe a debt to this man profound, his vitality is reponsible for a lot of what we love. For a while he burned like fire and perhaps that same incandescence now claims him. There must be a debt for so much life…
I always saw Spill the Blood as not only an awesome album conclusion, but it’s lyrics as an allegory for metal and Slayer’s role as “the master” in it. The death of another genre master is a grim loss to the world of music alongside Piggy, Roger Patterson, Miika Tenkula, Quorthon… inventive and innovative creators. With Slayer’s imminent end, metal will further slip into becoming a product style without a highly visible ‘genre authority’ to show the unwise how it’s done. A bitter loss.
My inner 17-year-old can’t handle this. Hanneman, Quorthon, et al. were what we had in lieu of authority figures, wise elders and leaders in a time of crass commercialism and rampant individualism. People like him brought clarity to life and gave it purpose when things seemed beyond bleak. As others have noted, Slayer shaped a genre and kept it from heading back to the same-old-same-old trendy rock-n-roll jam that even today, forces keep pushing it toward. Assimilation is the big threat to metal, and it occurs when we fail to know our own spirit. The same applies to civilizations. Jeff Hanneman was an aid to both, and it’s a leaden weight on my soul to know he’s deceased. However, it seems like the brightest lights burn out the fastest, at least if we look at Quorthon and Hanneman, two of the people who invented death metal. That was an act of spirit, not of learning or socialization. What we can do is follow their example, and praise their souls into “metal Valhalla” for their great deeds not to humanity as a whole but to the humanity that deserves to survive and thrive.
-|- Worship him! -|-
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