Death Metal Guitarist Alexi Laiho Dies At 41

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Acclaimed metal guitarist Alexi Laiho, frontman of Finnish band Children of Bodom, died last week at his home in Helsinki after battling unspecified health issues. He was 41.

“We are all absolutely shocked and devastated,” his sister Kelli Wright-Laiho said, in a statement. “Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father. Our hearts are eternally broken.”

Born Markku Uula Aleksi Laiho, he started playing violin as a child before picking up the guitar. He played in several bands before co-founding Inearthed – the band that would become Children of Bodom – with drummer Jaska Raatikainen in 1993.

The band released 10 studio albums between 1997 and 2019, when they parted ways due to conflicts between three members and Laiho. He and Daniel Freyberg formed Bodom After Midnight and recorded three songs that have yet to be released.

“We are crushed by the sudden passing of our dear friend and band member,” read a statement from Freyberg and Bodom After Midnight bandmates Mitja Toivonen and Waltteri Väyrynen. “Words cannot describe this shock and the profound sadness that we feel.”

Considered one of the genre’s fastest guitarists, Laiho was frequently ranked one of the best metal guitarists in fan polls. He made more than a dozen guest appearances on recordings by other bands – including a solo on “Downright Dominate,” a track on Canadian thrash metal group Annihilator’s 2007 album Metal.

Laiho is survived by his second wife Kelli Wright and her child, as well as his parents and sister.

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