Alexi Laiho, guitarist/vocalist and founder of Children of Bodom, has died. He was 41 years old.
The news was confirmed by his record label, Napalm Records. Laiho died at his Helsinki home last week and suffered from unspecified long-term health issues.
“It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we have to announce the passing of Alexi Laiho,” said a statement released by Napalm on behalf of Laiho’s new band, Bodom After Midnight. “We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken for the sudden loss of our dear friend and band member.”
Laiho’s former Children of Bodom bandmates Henkka T. Blacksmith (bass), Jaska Raatikainen (drums) and Janne Wirman (keyboards) paid their respects on the band’s Facebook page. “More than 25 years of friendship. We lost a brother. The world lost a phenomenal song writer and one of the greatest guitarists of all time,” their statement reads. “Memories and Alexi’s music will live forever. Our thoughts are with Alexi’s family during this difficult time.”
Laiho originally formed Children of Bodom as Inearth back in 1993. After a name change, the band went on to release ten albums throughout their career, including Follow the Reaper (2000), Are You Dead Yet? (2005), Blooddrunk (2008), and I Worship Chaos (2015). The band released their final album, Hexed, in 2019.
After the split, Laiho gave up the rights to the Children of Bodom name to three of the band’s longtime members and formed the new band Bodom After Midnight featuring guitarist Daniel Freyberg (ex-Children of Bodom), drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost), bassist Mitja Toivonen (ex-Santa Cruz) and touring keyboardist Lauri Salomaa.
“Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father,” stated his wife, Kelli Wright-Laiho. “Our hearts are eternally broken.”
“Absolutely gutted about Alexi Laiho`s very untimely passing. He had a lot more to left to say with his music,” Marty Friedman said of Laiho’s passing. “Alexi is a modern day guitar hero and rightly deserves the praise he is getting today for the music he left us with,” said Trivium’s Paolo Gregoletto.
Napalm Records revealed that Laiho recorded three songs and shot one video with Bodom After Midnight in 2020, and there are plans to release the music posthumously.
Our condolences go out to Alexi Laiho’s family, friends, and bandmates during this difficult time.