Children of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho has died at the age of 41.
The heavy metal group confirmed his passing in a statement shared to Facebook on Monday, Jan. 4. According to the post, Laiho died at his home in Helsinki, Finland last week. While the cause of death was not revealed, the statement noted the lead guitarist and singer “had suffered from long-term health issues during his last years.” Bandmates Jaska Raatikainen, Henkka Blacksmith and Janne Wirman called Laiho “one of the most renowned guitarists in the world.”
“More than 25 years of friendship. We lost a brother. The world lost a phenomenal song writer and one of the greatest guitarists of all time,” the message read. “Memories and Alexi’s music will live forever. Our thoughts are with Alexi’s family during this difficult time.”
Last year, Laiho formed Bodom After Midnight. The supergroup’s artists–Daniel Freyberg, Mitja Toivonen and Waltteri Vyrynen–paid tribute on Facebook, as well.
“We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken for the sudden loss of our dear friend and band member,” part of their statement read. “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.”
According to Children of Bodom’s website, the group formed under the name Inearthed in 1993. Over the years, the band produced a number of hits, with their 2008 album Blooddrunk and their 2011 album Relentless Reckless Forever peaking at no. 22 and no. 42 on the Billboard 200 chart, respectively. In fact, the website noted Children of Bodom sold more than 250,000 records in Finland alone and that the musicians had three consecutive albums secure the no. 1 spot on Finnish album charts. The stars gave their final farewell concert in 2019.
Laiho then went on to form Bodom After Midnight in early 2020. According to Laiho’s official Facebook page, the group recorded three songs and filmed one music video, which will be released posthumously.
In a statement, his wife, Kelli Wright-Laiho also described him as “the most loving and magnificent husband and father.”
The Facebook page noted a funeral will take place privately.