RIP Alexi Laiho

Former Children Of Bodom singer and guitarist Alexi Laiho has died. According to his label, Naplam, the Finnish musician passed away at home in Heklsinki 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 founded Children Of Bodom in 1993, and led them until they split up at the end of 2019. In 2020, he formed a new band, Bodom After Midnight. Laiho received widespread acclaim for his guitar work.

In 2004 he was ranked #96 out of 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time by Guitar World. Guitar World magazine has also ranked him as one of the 50 fastest guitarists in the world. In addition, Roadrunner Records ranked Laiho at #41 out of 50 of The Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time. Furthermore, Total Guitar conducted a public voting poll to determine the greatest metal guitarist of all time; Laiho was voted #1 out of 20 metal guitarists, with over 20% of the vote.

Laiho started playing violin at the age of seven and guitar at the age of 11 and in 1993 formed Children of Bodom together with drummer Jaska Raatikainen under the name of Inearthed. In 2004, Laiho founded a side-project called Kylähullut, which was assembled together with Tonmi Lillman (ex-Sinergy) and Vesa Jokinen 69er (from Klamydia). The band was created merely for the entertainment of the musicians, and takes a carefree approach to their music. The band’s discography includes two EP’s, and two full-length albums. Laiho has been featured on the cover of Young Guitar Magazine several times, as well as being on the cover of Guitar World along with master guitarists Steve Vai and Zakk Wylde. The “Wildchild” nickname is derived from the song “Wild Child” by the band W.A.S.P. He also has a clothing line called “wild child industries”.

In February 2002, Laiho married Kim Goss during a private ceremony in Finland. Prior to the marriage, they dated for four years. In 2004 they separated, but still remain close friends. For several years after he was then with Kristen Mulderig, manager of Slayer until mid 2015. Later that same year he began a relationship with Kelli Wright, an Australian Public Relations Manager who he became engaged to September 2016 and the two married December 2017 in a private ceremony in Australia.

On 15 December 2019 Children of Bodom played their last show at the Icehall in Helsinki, dubbed “A Chapter Called Children of Bodom.” This followed the announcement in November that after this show, all members of the band except Laiho and guitarist Daniel Freyberg had quit. Following their departure, it was revealed that due to legal reasons, Laiho would need permission from his former band mates to continue using the Children of Bodom name. In March 2020, Laiho and Freyberg officially announced their new band, Bodom After Midnight, named after the second track from the album Follow the Reaper. This officially marked the end of Children of Bodom.

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