photo by Tør
Decibel magazine and other media outlets have reported a statement released by Napalm Records, which we then found in our own in-box this morning, that the veteran Finnish musician and vocalist Alexi Laiho passed away at home in Heklsinki sometime last week. No cause of death has been reported. Laiho was 41 years old.
For me, as for many others, this is very sad news. In my case, Laiho and Children of Bodom were one of the important gateways that led me into extreme metal. I came to the genre much later in life than many of the people who visit our site, and have spent the last 15 years or so catching up and riding the tide forward. COB were one of a handful of bands that made the music finally click in my head.
As a reflection of that, I wrote about COB often in the early years of NCS. One of those posts (but still not the earliest) was a feature about COB in an impromptu series I named Finland Tribute Week, which went on day after day and lasted far longer than a week. At that point, in December 2010, NCS was barely one year old. That feature included reminiscences about the COB live shows that I and the other two original NCS writers had witnessed in Seattle. And it also included a selection of COB songs that even then were “older” tracks, beginning with one that still has tremendous nostalgic value for me.
I’ve decided to put that same collection of songs here, in the same order. R.I.P. Alexi Laiho.
Well, that sucks. I also haven’t listened to CoB much in recent years either, but they were one of the bands that really got me into metal. I can only imagine how large a mark he’s left on the metal world.
I haven’t listened to COB much in recent years either, but revisiting those sold songs I included in the post brought back lots of fantastic memories, mixed with the sadness of this news. Definitely a bittersweet experience.
Horrible news. This is a sad day for music. RIP, Alexi.
They where a gateway for me as well. I remember i went from smurf hits and Scooter, to cob and dimmu borgir lol. R.I.P
So fucking sad, even Blooddrunk was a lot fun to me. RIP, or keep rolling in hell Alex
I had to listen to Hatebreeder yesterday when I read the news. Yes, bittersweet was definitively the word for it.
A lifetime of alcohol abuse will do that to you.
Hatebreeder was like nothing I’d heard before. The glory of neoclassical metal guitar hadn’t resonated with me until that point and it was almost euphoric when it clicked. The thing that allowed it to click was the vocals. Could never get on board with heavy/power metal due (in most part) to the singing and no-one else was really brave enough to put harsh vocals over that kind of music. Remember so many Manowar and Hammerfall fans saying they wished he’d just sing properly… glad he never, even though a much larger audience was within their grasp had he been willing to compromise on that aspect. I think the vocals were as big a part of the ‘gateway’ effect as anything.
Arguably the most distinctive and influential metal guitarist since Dimebag Darrell. I’m sure he still had lot of music left in him. Sucks the big one that we’ll never see that back catalogue performed live by its creator again.
Alexi’s passing is right up there with Chuck Schuldiner and Dimebag for me.