Tributes are being paid to heavy metal musician Alexi Laiho, who has died at the age of 41.
Best known as the frontman of Children Of Bodom, the Finnish musician has been described as “one of the most renowned guitarists in the world” following his death.
Co-founding the band in 1993, he performed with them until their dissolution with a farewell gig in December 2019. Just last year, Laiho put together the supergroup Bodom After Midnight with former bandmate Daniel Freyberg.
On the star’s official Instagram page, Bodom After Midnight’s management described his death as sudden but also said he had been suffering health issues in the past year. He died at home in Helsinki last week, they said.
Paying tribute, the band said: “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.
“Our journey together as a band had only just begun so there’s no words to describe the shock and the bottomless grief that all of us feel.
“May your soul rest in peace, you will be eternally missed. We love you brother.”
Scores of fans and fellow musicians have paid tribute on social media.
…I’ll always remember that. Since then, we ran into each other a few times at the ESP guitars signings at Namm and Messe, and was always nice to hang out for a bit. Such a loss for the Metal world and for the guitar community. My condolences to his family and loved ones. 🙏
— Gus G. (@gusgofficial) January 4, 2021
Laiho co-founded Children Of Bodom with drummer Jaska Raatikainen. They released 10 studio albums between 1997 and 2019 and are ranked among Finland’s biggest selling acts of all time.
Some of Laiho’s work with Bodom After Midnight will now be released posthumously.
The star was also known for acts such as Warmen, Sinergy, Kylahullut and The Local Band. In 2015, he led a group of 100 guitar players at Helsinki Festival’s 100 Guitars From Hel, a big concert piece that he composed, his management said.
Manager Jouni Markkanen paid tribute to “one of the most renowned guitarists in the world” and said that, as well as being a talented musician, Laiho was also a man who “relished his roles as stepdad in his patchwork family”, and as an uncle and godfather.
The musician’s wife, Kelli Wright-Laiho, said: “Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father. Our hearts are eternally broken.”
The couple had celebrated their third wedding anniversary earlier in December.