Alexi Laiho, the founding vocalist of influential Finnish metal band Children of Bodom, has died at the age of 41.
- READ MORE: Rest in peace, Children of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho: self-effacing Finnish metalhead with a wicked sense of humour
His passing was confirmed with “great sadness” by the supergroup Bodom After Midnight, who Laiho formed with his former bandmate Daniel Freyberg last year after Children of Bodom announced their dissolution in 2019.
Statement from Bodom After Midnight:
It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we have to announce the passing of Alexi Laiho. We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken for the sudden loss of our dear friend and band member.
Daniel, Mitja & Waltteri pic.twitter.com/AohWJpfnFg
— Napalm Records (@NapalmRecords) January 4, 2021
“It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we have to announce the passing of Alexi Laiho,” the statement confirmed.
“We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken for the sudden loss of our dear friend and band member. Daniel, Mitja & Waltteri.”
A subsequent statement from his former bandmates said Laiho had suffered from “long-term health issues” during his final years.
“Laiho had suffered from long-term health issues during his last years. More than 25 years of friendship. We lost a brother,” the statement read.
“The world lost a phenomenal song writer and one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Memories and Alexi’s music will live forever.
“Our thoughts are with Alexi’s family during this difficult time. -Henkka, Janne and Jaska.”
Kelli Laiho-Wright, Laiho’s wife, said: “Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father. Our hearts are eternally broke.”
— Monsters Of Rock® (@MonstersOfRock) January 4, 2021
“We are all absolutely shocked and devastated”, added Laiho’s sister. “We ask for privacy and understanding during these hard times. My little brother’s funeral will take place privately.”
His cause of death has yet to be announced.
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.
— 𝕸𝖎𝖈𝖍𝖆𝖊𝖑 𝕬𝖒𝖔𝖙𝖙 (@Michael_Amott) January 4, 2021
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.
Leading tributes, Swedish metal guitarist Michael Amott shared a photo of him and Laiho together, writing: “I’m speechless.”