SLAYER guitarist Kerry King has paid a tribute to former CHILDREN OF BODOM frontman Alexi Laiho, who passed away on December 29 in his home in Helsinki, Finland. The 41-year-old had suffered from long-term health issues leading up to his death.
Speaking in the new issue of Metal Hammer, King said: “Are You Dead Yet? was probably my favourite album by them. Even back then I was like, ‘This is the next dude, this is the next guitar hero.’ He’s one of those effortless guys that you watch and you’re like, ‘F*ck! I’ve been working all day and I can’t do that sh*t?’”
He also remembers BODOM holding their own against SLAYER’s notoriously hard-to-impress fanbase. “They went down OK; I’ve seen people go out there and just fail miserably. Their setlist was on the heavier side, which is a smart thing to do when you’re opening for us. I was up there almost every night watching them. They’re fun to watch play and Alexi was a guitar god.”
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.