LAMB OF GOD And KREATOR Members Visit ALEXI LAIHO's Grave In Helsinki: 'It's Nice To Go Pay Respects'
February 21, 2023
Prior to LAMB OF GOD and KREATOR's February 19 concert at Jäähalli in Helsinki, Finland during the two bands' joint "State Of Unrest" 2023 European tour, LAMB OF GOD's Randy Blythe and KREATOR's Mille Petrozza visited the grave of CHILDREN OF BODOM frontman Markku Uula Aleksi "Alexi" Laiho.
Blythe told Chaoszine about the experience (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It was very nice. Of course I miss him. Our publicist at Nuclear Blast, and then another friend, when I was here at Knotfest, we discussed it, and they were, like, 'Oh, when you come back on this tour, we promise we'll carry you out there.' So, I went out there — me and Mille from KREATOR did — and it's snowing today, so it was very beautiful. I took a lot of pictures and lit a candle and just said hello to him. It's nice to go pay respects. I miss that guy. We put a lot of roads down with him, a lot of miles." Randy also showed off his "COB" tattoo on his left forearm, which he said he "earned."
Mille also talked to Chaoszine about going to Alexi's grave. He said: "It was very peaceful. The cemetery is very beautiful. It was all snowy. And Alexi's graveyard site had very nice gifts from fans and guitar picks. It was sad and cheerful at the same time. So, yeah, I guess Alexi would have liked us to go there and hang out with him for a little bit. And hopefully he's here in spirit tonight."
Alexi's gravestone, the bottom of which features a line from the CHILDREN OF BODOM song "Kissing The Shadows" ("So together in peace we shall be"),was unveiled last August at the Malmi Cemetery, a large cemetery located in the Malmi district in Helsinki, where the 41-year-old musician's ashes were buried in late 201.
Prior to the gravestone being installed, social media posts of Alexi's grave showed a candle sitting on top of his burial spot.
Australian-born music publicist Kelli Wright, who says she married the musician three years before his death, announced Alexi's burial in a social media post in December 2021. She wrote: "Finally, with extremely mixed emotions, I can announce MY late, unconditionally and forever loved husband's ashes were buried yesterday on our 4 th Wedding Anniversary. The family Laiho plot is where he was buried. Alexi and Kelli 2005 – eternity".
At the time of his death, Alexi was still legally married to his former SINERGY bandmate Kimberly Goss. In January 2021, Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reported that Laiho tied the knot with Goss in February 2002, and the couple never officially divorced. Although Laiho filed for divorce in November 2002, he quickly withdrew the petition and never filed another.
According to Finnish law, Laiho and Wright would not have been able to legally wed, as Laiho and Goss had never terminated their marriage.
In March 2021, Alexi's sister Anna accused Kimberly of holding up the burial process, writing in a social media post that Goss was using "her legal rights as a widow, preventing grie[v]ing mother and father [from] bury[ing] their own son. Her selfish and narcissistic explanation is that she wanted to take part in the funeral and still wants to be present when the ashes are buried," she wrote. "But our family does not want this monster anywhere near us."
For her part, Goss, who lives in Chicago, Illinois, denied allegations that was "a 'gold-digger' who Alexi 'hated'," explaining that "this can be easily disproven through the beautiful text and video messages he sent me daily, right until the last day of his life. Messages so sweet, yet so heartbreaking at the same time. Heartbreaking because you can see how ill he was. I tried everything I could to help him. I often messaged people in Helsinki to check in on him because I was so worried."
In December 2021, Anna told Ilta-Sanomat that "the protracted dispute" over her brother's ashes was "over" and that she and the rest of her family welcomed the opportunity to focus on grieving her brother "in a new way."
Alexi passed away on December 29, 2020 in his home in Helsinki, Finland. He died of alcohol-induced degeneration of the liver and pancreas connective tissue. Furthermore, Laiho had a cocktail of painkillers, opioids and insomnia medication in his system. He had suffered from long-term health issues leading up to his death.
Alexi 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. In 2020, Alexi put together BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT, which recorded three songs and shot one music video, all of which were released posthumously.
Besides CHILDREN OF BODOM, Laiho had played in such acts as WARMEN, SINERGY, KYLÄHULLUT and THE LOCAL BAND. Awarded with a Metal Hammer Golden God and several other international prizes, the guitarist was also the main star, leading a group of one hundred guitar players at the Helsinki Festival in 2015 in "100 Guitars From Hel" — a massive concert piece he composed.
Early last year, former CHILDREN OF BODOM members Jaska Raatikainen (drums),Henri "Henkka T. Blacksmith" Seppälä (bass) and Janne Wirman (keyboards) discussed publicly for the first time the circumstances that led to the band's split and ultimately Laiho's death. In an interview with Finland's Helsingin Sanomat, the three surviving members of CHILDREN OF BODOM said the real reason for the band's breakup was not that they wanted to stop touring in order to spend more time with their families, which is how Laiho explained it to Helsingin Sanomat in November 2019. Instead, what caused the group to split was Laiho's substance abuse, and that is also what eventually killed him a year after they went their separate ways.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).