Roughly two months after the tragic passing of former Children of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho at the age of 41, his cause of death has been revealed. According to Kimberley Goss, his ex-partner to whom he was still legally married, the singer-guitarist died from “alcohol-induced degeneration of the liver and pancreas connective tissue,” along with a “cocktail of painkillers, opioids and insomnia medication in his system.”
Laiho’s death was first reported on January 4th, but he actually died on December 29th, 2020. He fronted the Finnish melodic death metal act Children of Bodom for more than 25 years (including their early days as Inearthed) until they split up in 2019. The musician, who formed the new band Bodom After Midnight in early 2020, was considered one of world’s premier heavy metal guitarists.
Goss, a member of the band Synergy, married Laiho in 2002, but the couple separated in 2004. Laiho had apparently been married to Kelli Wright at the time of his death, but it was revealed that he had actually never legally divorced Goss, who thereby is considered Laiho’s legal widow.
In an Instagram post, Goss revealed Laiho’s cause of death as a “cautionary tale” to others struggling with addiction and the people around them. Her full post reads as follows:
“This morning I received the final forensic report with the official cause of Alexi’s passing. 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”
Laiho released 10 albums with Children of Bodom over the years. Just last month, his latest band, Bodom After Midnight, announced they would release their debut EP on April 23rd as a tribute to their late frontman. The three-song effort, titled Paint the Sky With Blood, contains the final recordings that Laiho created before his death.
See Kimberly Goss’ full Instagram post below.