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Alexi Laiho, Former Children Of Bodom Guitarist/Vocalist Dead At 41

Children Of Bodom, who formed in 1993, drew widespread praise for their unique brand of melodic death metal.

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Photo: Mariano Regidor/Redferns

Former Children Of Bodom singer and guitarist Alexi Laiho has died. According to his label, Napalm, the Finnish musician passed away at home in Helsinki last week. Although no cause of death was specified, the 41-year-old had reportedly been suffering from what were described as “long term health issues”

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, Laiho put together Bodom After Midnight, who recorded three songs and shot one music video, which will be released later on posthumously.

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Besides Children Of Bodom, Laiho was known for acts such as Warmen, Sinergy, Kylähullut and The Local Band. Awarded with a Metal Hammer Golden God and several other international prizes, the guitarist was also the main star, leading a group of one hundred guitar players at the Helsinki Festival in 2015 in “100 Guitars From Hel” — a massive concert piece he composed.

“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”, said his Bodom After Midnight bandmates Daniel Freyberg, Mitja Toivonen and Waltteri Väyrynen.

Laiho’s wife, Kelli Laiho-Wright, said: “Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father. Our hearts are eternally broken.”

“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”, Daniel Freyberg, Mitja Toivonen and Waltteri Väyrynen from Bodom After Midnight stated.

The talented guitarist and musician relished his role as stepdad in his 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 said: “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 Laiho was born in the Finnish city of Espoo in 1979 and formed Children of Bodom with drummer Jaska Raatikainen in 1993 under the name of Inearthed.

The band released their acclaimed debut album Something Wild in 1997 and drew widespread praise for their unique brand of melodic death metal. It was followed by 1999’s Hatebreeder, before their third album Follow The Reaper saw the group scoring their first gold certified record in Finland.

Their next four albums went on to top the chart in Finland, helping to secure their status as one of the country’s top-selling musical acts of all time.

Laiho was also considered to be one of metal’s most acclaimed guitarists, with a 2016 public poll by Total Guitar declaring him as the genre’s greatest player of all time.

Children of Bodom’s last album came in 2019 with Hexed, before the band announced their split and played their final show in December of that year.

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