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Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman died of liver failure caused by alcohol, it’s been confirmed.

“We’ve just learned that the official cause of Jeff’s death was alcoholrelated cirrhosis,” say the band themselves in a statement.

“While he had his health struggles over the years, including the infection that devastated his well-being, Jeff and those close to him were not aware of the true extent of his liver condition until the last days of his life.

“Contrary to some reports, Jeff was not on a transplant list at the time of his passing, or at any time prior to that. In fact, by all accounts, it appeared that he had been improving – he was excited and looking forward to working on a new record.”

Medical expert Dr Kent Sepkowitz has suggested that Jeff’s contraction of necrotising fasciitis may have in fact been as a result of his drinking, and not of a spider bite as previously stated. “Despite the tidiness of the narrative suggesting that the old necrotising fasciitis caused the new liver failure, the story is exactly the opposite,” he tells the Daily Beast. “People with severe underlying medical problems, such as chronic liver disease, are at increased risk for necrotising fasciitis.

“So rather than the 2011 illness influencing his death, it is more likely that the very illness that killed him – liver failure – was the same condition that predisposed him to the near-death experience two years ago.”

Slayer are expected to announce details of a public memorial imminently.