World renowned melodic death metal guitarist and founding member of Finland’s Children Of Bodom Alexi Laiho died in his home in Helsinki, Finland, last week. Laiho had suffered from long-term health issues during his last years, according to Napalm Records, but the specific issues are currently unclear.
In 2012, the band cancelled a show in Norway and another in Sweden the following night after Alexi was “hospitalized”. In a statement to their legions of fans, the band apologized and said that their guitarist had been suffering from “extreme stomach pains”, and that doctors had told him not to perform for at least 48 hours.
NME reports Laiho was open about his problematic relationship with alcohol, and in 2015 told Metal Injection: “I just made the decision that I don’t drink at all when I’m on the road. It just got to the point where I wasn’t feeling healthy. It wasn’t, like, party fun stuff any more. It got pretty dark. I got stomach ulcers and was vomiting blood before the show, sometimes during the show. It’s like, ‘Dude? Really?’ It wasn’t fun anymore, you know?”.
Since his death, Alexi’s wife Kelli Laiho-Wright has spoken out to say that her and their kids’ “hearts are eternally broken” by the death of such a “loving and magnificent husband and father.”
Alexi’s sister added that they are “deeply shocked and broken by grief.”
Alexi 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.
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.
“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 state.
After Children of Bodom dissolved, Laiho and Daniel Freyberg formed Bodom After Midnight in 2020, another Finnish melodic death metal supergroup from Espoo, Finland. The band recorded three songs and shot one music video, which will be released later on posthumously.