STEVE VAI In Praise Of ALEXI LAIHO - "A Fiercely Confident And Monstrous Guitar Commander Of The Highest Order"
January 5, 2021, 2 months ago
It was announced yesterday (January 4th) that Children Of Bodom / Bodom After Midnight frontman Alexi Laiho passed away last week due to ongoing health issues. Guitar legend Steve Vai has posted the following tribute:
"So sorry to hear of the passing of Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom. With his band he was part of a powerful movement that ushered in hi-octane, intense metal at its most brutal and beautiful. I had the good fortune of meeting him several times and being a part of this Guitar World story with him. He was always respectful, personable, quiet and unassuming, but then you'd hear him play and you'd realize that embodied in that delicate frame was a fiercely confident and monstrous guitar commander of the highest order. Rock on young brother."
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. Last year Alexi Laiho put together Bodom After Midnight, who recorded three songs and shot one music video, which will be released later on posthumously.
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.
The talented guitarist and musician relished his roles as stepdad in his patchwork family, and as uncle and godfather. Especially during the last years, the important family ties brought a welcomed balance to his life and the active touring. Laiho was particularly close with his big sister, parents and his sister's daughter. Laiho's sister says:
"We are all absolutely shocked and devastated. We ask for privacy and understanding during these hard times. My little brother's funeral will take place privately."
Alexi Laiho will also be deeply missed by his family in Australia.
"Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father. Our hearts are eternally broken", Kelli Wright-Laiho says.
Laiho recently completed work on the debut album for Bodom After Midnight, the band launched following Children Of Bodom's demise in 2019.
His death comes as a devastating blow to the metal world and the BraveWords family, as some of us knew Alexi personally. Rest in peace, Wild Child.