SLAYER guitarist Kerry King has paid tribute to late CHILDREN OF BODOM frontman Alexi Laiho.
Speaking to Metal Hammer magazine, King recalled inviting CHILDREN OF BODOM to support SLAYER on 2006's "Unholy Alliance" tour.
"'Are You Dead Yet?' was probably my favorite album by them," King said. "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, 'Fuck! I've been working all day and I can't do that shit?'"
According to King, CHILDREN OF BODOM received a decent response from the SLAYER crowd. "I've seen people go out there and just fail miserably," he said. "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 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.
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. Last year, Alexi put together BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT, which recorded three songs and shot one music video, to be 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.
BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT made its live debut last October at Rytmikorjaamo in Seinäjoki, Finland. The 17-song show consisted entirely of CHILDREN OF BODOM material.