Alexi Laiho (1979-2020)

Alexi Laiho (1979-2020)

Everyone at ESP extends our deepest condolences to the friends, family, and millions of fans around the world of ESP signature artist Alexi Laiho, who passed away suddenly at age 41. We've had the pleasure of being friends with Alexi for many years, supplying him with the guitars he's used for his work in his bands Children of Bodom and Bodom After Midnight. In addition to being recognized on multiple occasions as one of the world's best guitarists, Alexi was a kind and gentle person whose friendship we will miss greatly.


We couldn't be more proud of the global ESP community for their hundreds and hundreds of heartfelt contributions to our Alexi Laiho tribute feature. Please take a look at them, and add your own.

Stephanos I.

I discovered COB when I was around 14-15 on a school trip to Paris .

I bought hatebreeder and follow the reaper in the airport to the way there , and I remember i was so stunned discovering the magic of COB.. I spent the whole trip Ignoring everyone and listening to the albums

music is a feeling , a different feeling every time , and the memories it generates cannot be compared to anything else . Thank you Alexi for the memories and the music , and also for making me a better guitar player . . R.I.P 

Saaya S.

Alexi is a person who gave me the most of dreams,impressions and effect on music.

I saw him on magazine, that was tiny pic though I interested in him because he's guitar looked similarto Randy Rhords one. I was a fan of him.

Immediately I looked up COB on Youtube then he knocked me out. I had goosepimples by his charismatic attitude as a front man, musician, and incredible guitar skills.I was 13.

After that I practiced his tunes a lot,listened COB all day even when go to sleep,read hard his interviews,and I bacame to think I want to be a pro likes him.I prayed every night, I want to see him in the person and play guitar together someday.

I turned to 20,he announced about100guitarsfromHel. I knew I must to try it, then...He elected me! I remember when I got the E-mail,just incredible and happy.

We had 2rehearsals in Helsinki. When he appeared, I almost was gonna cry.

Then 100 members got chance to talk to him and take pic,I couldn't believe the person I've been following is in front of me.I said to him, "It was my dream to play guitar with you, I want to be a professional guitarist like you" He said,"Awesome!"And I gave him Japanese beer and he said "Arigato"with smile.

On real stage date,I stood behind of Janne,and we started to play. I looked at Alexi's back,looked very reliable and just impressed,wished the time never be end.

Same year, I got to talk to him again at meet&great in Japan. I said to him "I'd love to do 100gfh again,and don't forget me" then he brought his phone and took pic with me. Totally he's amazing musician and also heartfull person,moderate, I respect these his aspects too.

It was difficult to write as short as possible, and still I'm depressing but I know I'll keep following and respect him and he's my goal forever.

These memories are my treasure and never forget.

I want to send big love and appreciation to him.

See you again someday, Alexi Laiho.

Vanessa B.

i had the honor to see cob 2 times in vienna, at wacken, at novarock and the last time in my little hometown in leoben at the area53 festival. everytime i went to the concerts i had the best times in my life! seeing him/them was so much fun, around many great people, i was involved in so many moshpits. i was there with friends (one of them also left from us way too soon) but i had the best memories. i am really thankful for that. i am listening to his music for many years and still do. since i heard he left away from us i Was really sad.(i am still sad about it) i dont know him as person but it feels like a big part of me went away. I loved and lived for this music. His music let me feel free. His death now is the point i will start making music on my own. It is too sad ;(  I think 2020 was a hard year for us all but i really hope he had a "good last time" and i  wish him from my heart to  rest in peace! thank you for everything! 

Matthew H.

This guy has and always will be my idol, creative inspiration, mentor and favorite guitarist. Not only just guitar and music but life in general - I've learned so much from him. He was fearless about his music and his image and it showed in both. Taught me to not give a fuck about others perception of you and to always be true to yourself and your music, a simple yet lost art I think. I wouldnt of ever persued music the way I have if I didnt discover his work and for that I have to thank him. I could go on and on about the pure joy I've gained from this dude and COB but I'm honestly still a little short for words. You will be dearly missed. RIP, Alexi.

Mark B.

Children Of Bodom was one of the first bands i saw live. I never heard of them before but i loved their music from first hearing their songs on stage. Alexi fueled my passion for music further than just a hobby and made me practise guitar for the rest of the summer. Alexi was such a good talent gone too soon. Rip

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