The metal community woke to the devastating news this morning that legendary Children of Bodom and Bodom After Midnight frontman/guitarist Alexi Laiho passed away last week at his home in Helsinki, Finland.
Bodom After Midnight confirmed the heartbreaking news in an official press statement, stating that Laiho had been battling long-term health issues in his final years. He was 41 years old.
"We are crushed by the sudden passing of our dear friend and band member. Words cannot describe this shock and the profound sadness that we feel," bandmates Daniel Freyberg, Mitja Toivonen and Waltteri Väyrynen lamented.
Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen founded Children of Bodom in 1993, and the band was one of the most internationally acclaimed metal acts in Finland up until their very last farewell concert in December of 2019. Last year Alexi Laiho put together Bodom After Midnight, who recorded three songs and shot one music video, which will be released later on posthumously.
Besides Children of Bodom, Laiho was known for acts such as Warmen, Sinergy, Kylähullut and The Local Band. Awarded with a Metal Hammer Golden Gods and several other international prizes, the guitarist was also the main star, leading a group of one hundred guitar players at Helsinki Festival in 2015 in "100 Guitars From Hel" – a massive concert piece he composed.
The talented guitarist and musician relished his roles as stepdad in his patchwork family, and as uncle and godfather. Especially during the last years, the important family ties brought a welcomed balance to his life and the active touring. Laiho was particularly close with his big sister, parents and his sister's daughter.
Laiho's sister says, "We are all absolutely shocked and devastated. We ask for privacy and understanding during these hard times. My little brother's funeral will take place privately."
Alexi and his wife Kelli Wright-Laiho had just celebrated their third wedding anniversary back in December and marked the occasion with a couple of Instagram posts to celebrate the special day. "Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father. Our hearts are eternally broken," Kelli mourned.
As I'm sure is the case with many metalheads around the world, Alexi Laiho's death really hits home. Children of Bodom were an integral part of my middle and high school years and I'll always have the fondest memories of constantly watching the Chaos Ridden Years DVD with my closest friends during those years. I was fortunate enough to finally see Children of Bodom live back in 2019. You can read my review of that show here.
Such a loss for the metal world and for the guitar community. All of us here at CryptTeaze extend our deepest condolences to Alexi Laiho's family and friends during this emotional time.
Horns and halos Mr. Laiho, may you shred something wild forever.