Stuart Anstis, an early guitarist for Cradle of Filth, has died. He was 48 years old.
The rocker’s death was first made public by Richard Shaw, another guitarist who played for for the metal act from 2014 to 2022. “Rest in peace, Stuart. It was an honour performing your music. Thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time,” he wrote in a tribute to the late musician on Instagram.
Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth also paid homage to his one-time bandmate on his official Facebook page. “It is with a deeply saddened heart that I have heard of the passing of my former guitarist Stuart Anstis at 48,” he wrote. “Stuart -despite our eventual differences- was an amazingly talented guitarist who brought a real sense of magick to everything he wrote in Cradle Of Filth. For a long time he and I were bestest of friends living in a small village here in Suffolk and despite that relationship eventually changing, it did nothing to diminish the fan’s appreciation of his creative flair and talent right up to the present day.”
His post continued: “It truly is with a heavy sense of loss that we (and extreme music in general) bid farewell to Stuart. May sombre flights of ravens wing you to your grave mate. Rest In Phallustein.”
Anstis was part of the band from 1995 to 1999, and played on multiple EPs and albums including 1996’s V Empire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein, 1998’s Cruelty and the Beast and 1999’s From the Cradle to Enslave.
“‘Vempire,’ ‘Dusk… and Her Embrace’ (though written mostly by former members, Stuart played all the guitars on this album), ‘Cruelty And The Beast’ and ‘From the Cradle To Enslave’ would have been completely different creatures if it were not for the depth of his astute and deliciously dark musicianship,” Filth wrote of Anstis’ contributions to the band’s early work following their 1994 debut The Principle of Evil Made Flesh.
Read Shaw and Filth’s tributes to Anstis below.