(USA TODAY) -- Thrash metal guitar god Jeff Hanneman has died from liver failure.
The 49-year-old founding member of Slayer was hospitalized in Southern California, according to the band's Facebook page. "Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother ... passed away at about 11 a.m. this morning," says the statement posted Thursday evening.
The musician hadn't been on the road with Slayer since 2011, when he contracted
necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, most likely brought on by a spider bite. It's unclear whether that illness was connected to his death.
Fellow musicians quickly tweeted their condolences. "RIP TO A TITAN OF METAL," wrote Disturbed vocalist David Draiman on Twitter. "WOW ... I'm in shock," tweeted former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. Black Label Society and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zykk Wylde wrote, "RIP brother. You will be missed."