Tributes have been pouring in for Jeff Hanneman. One of the founding members of the pioneering thrash metal band Slayer, Hanneman died May 2 in California of liver failure. He was only 49.

Slayer’s statement was simple. “Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11am this morning near his Southern California home. He was 49. 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.”

Responding on Twitter, Slash wrote: “Tragic & shocking news about Jeff Hanneman. He is going to missed by so many. What a sad day for metal. RIP man.”

Fellow former Guns N’Roses bandmate Duff McKagan wrote: “Jeff Hanneman of @Slayer RIP. Wow. I'm so very sorry for your loss Hanneman family.”

Megadeth guitarist Dave Mustaine stated: “Tonight one less star will be shining and sadly, the stage got just a little bit darker. Jeff Hanneman 1964-2013.”

Hanneman had been on hiatus from Slayer since early 2011, when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that doctors believed might have been caused by a spider bite. Hanneman almost lost his arm, and was briefly placed in a medically-induced coma. But after a series of skin grafts, he had been working on his physical rehabilitation, including playing guitar.

Hanneman was key in Slayer’s career. Two of Hanneman’s compositions, “Angel of Death” and “Raining Blood,” book-ended their legendary Reign in Blood album of 1986, a landmark of thrash metal.

Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz wrote: “Rest in peace Jeff Hanneman. Decade of Aggression is the first cd I ever bought with my own money. Sad day.”

Zakk Wylde simply posted: “RIP brother. You will be missed.”