LOS ANGELES: US guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a co-founder of the seminal heavy metal band Slayer, died in California, the band said. He was 49. “Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure,” the band said. Hanneman founded Slayer with fellow guitarist Kerry King in the early 1980s in suburban Los Angeles. The band was known as one of the “big four” thrash metal groups of the 1980s, along with Anthrax, Megadeth and Metallica. The thrash metal genre was distinct for its extremely fast tempo, big double-bass drums and dark themes.–Reuters