It's been a little under two years since Jeff Hanneman had to step down from his position as guitarist of Slayer, and it looks like he might not be coming back.
Hanneman was the victim of a spider bite that caused enough damage to his arm that he still can't fully play certain Slayer songs. It's enough to keep him sidelined for over a year, during which time the band got Gary Holt of Exodus to fill in.
In May of last year, Hanneman had still not yet recovered.
By the summer the band began writing new music without Hanneman.
Now, it seems that Hanneman might be gone for the long haul. In a recent interview with Metal Obsession, guitarist Kerry King basically said don't hold your breathe:
“I think Gary is in for the long haul. I haven’t really discussed it with him. But he keeps his schedule free when he knows we’re on tour… If Jeff all of a sudden came back in June, we would probably pay Gary for freeing up his time… But if Gary played with us for ever? I’m okay with that.”
What King is seemingly saying is that if Hanneman ever gets healthy, he'll be welcomed back into the band, but it doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon and that's a total bummer, especially now with Dave Lombardo not currently in the band, seeing Slayer with only 50% of their original lineup is no longer Slayer. It's, as my buddy Axl at MetalSucks put it…. seeing "Slayer."
I am just going to cope by staring at the 15 best animated GIFs of Slayer all day.