In January, the metal community was heartbroken to learn that Alex Laiho, frontman of Finnish shredders Children of Bodom, had died at the age of 41. Not only was Laiho an incredibly talented guitar player, but he was also a musical icon who brought the fun back to metal during a dour time in the genre’s history. Now, Laiho’s legal widow and Sinergy frontwoman Kimberly Goss has revealed the cause of Alexi’s death.
“This morning I received the final forensic report with the official cause of Alexi’s passing,” wrote Kim via her Instagram. As his legal widow, I am privy to this information. The certificate reads in Finnish, ‘Alkoholin aiheuttama maksan rasvarappeutuminen ja haiman sidekudostuminen’. The English translation is, ‘Alcohol-induced degeneration of the liver and pancreas connective tissue’. Furthermore, he had a cocktail of painkillers, opioids and insomnia medication in his system.
“The loss of this extraordinarily talented and beautiful soul is a tragedy that was entirely preventable. He had so many good years left in him. Imagine all the amazing music we could still be getting if he had just accepted help. I plead with anyone who is struggling with alcoholism or any other substance abuse problem, to please seek support. You do not have to meet this same fate. If people are trying to help you, remember that they are doing it out of love and concern, so please do not push them away. Please do not surround yourself with enablers who promote your addictions. Let this be a cautionary tale that no one is invincible.
“I do not want his death to be in vain. My hope is to eventually start a memorial foundation or charity in his native, Finland to help others struggling with these same demons. This needs to be an open conversation, not a source of shame. We are all human, we all suffer, but help is out there. If his story can save even ONE life, then something good can come out of this horrible loss we have all endured.
“Rest in peace, beloved Wildchild.”
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Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to Laiho’s family, friends, fans and collaborators during this difficult time.
Words by Chris Krovatin