Children of Bodom frontman and founder Alexi Laiho has passed away at the age of 41, according to a statement from his representatives. Although a cause of death has not been announced, Laiho passed away in his home in Helsinki, Finland and reportedly “suffered from long-term health issues during his last years.”
Laiho founded Children of Bodom in 1993 alongside drummer Jaska Raatikainen under the name of Inearthed. They would eventually settle on Children of Bodom during the recording sessions for Something Wild, the band’s 1997 debut album. This name is a reference to the Lake Bodom murders, one of Finland’s most notorious unsolved homicide cases.
Children of Bodom would start seeing commercial success with their third album Follow The Reaper in 2000. Their next four albums Hate Crew Deathroll, Are You Dead Yet?, Blooddrunk, and Relentless Reckless Forever all topped Finland’s music charts upon their release. These records also helped cement the group’s status within the melodic death metal scene.
Following the release of Children of Bodom’s 2019 studio album Hexed, the band’s Henkka T. Blacksmith, Jaska Raatikainen and Janne Wirman parted ways with the group. This departure appeared to be amicable, as Laiho stated that the members wanted to focus on their families. Blacksmith, Raatikainen and Wirman still owned the rights to the group however, which led Laiho to form a new outfit called Bodom After Midnight.
Bodom After Midnight featured Daniel Freyberg, Mitja Toivonen and Waltteri Väyrynen and made their live debut last October. The group signed with Napalm Records last month, but the label has not released any of the group’s material.
“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,” Freyberg, Toivonen and Väyrynen wrote in a press statement.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat