Former Cradle of Filth guitarist Stuart Anstis dies aged 48

Stuart Anstis
(Image credit: Press)

Stuart Anstis, former guitarist for British extreme metallers Cradle of Filth, has died aged 48. His cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Confirming the news via Anstis’s Facebook page yesterday (August 22), his wife Antoinette wrote: “Rest in peace, you were too beautiful for this world me Lover. Nothing will ever be the same again. Love always and ever your Antoinette. Until we meet again.”

Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth has paid tribute to his former bandmate on social media, writing: “Stuart – despite our eventual differences – was an amazingly talented guitarist who brought a real sense of magic 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 fans’ appreciation of his creative flair and talent right up to the present day.”

He adds that some of the band’s tracks including Vempire, Dusk and Her Embrace and From the Cradle to Enslave would have been “completely different creatures” if it weren’t for Anstis’s “astute and deliciously dark musicianship”.

Stuart Anstis joined Cradle of Filth in 1995, and played with them until his departure in 1999. He appeared on both Dusk and Her Embrace (1996) and Cruelty and the Beast (1998), as well as two EPs: V Empire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein (1996) and From the Cradle to Enslave (1999).

After leaving the Suffolk metal group, Anstis formed Bastardsun, which featured former Metal Church vocalist David Wayne. The project was disbanded in 2005 following Wayne’s death.

Richard Shaw – who played guitar with Cradle of Filth from 2014 until earlier this year – offered his own tribute to Anstis: “Rest in peace, Stuart. It was an honor performing your music.”

Cradle of Filth released their 13th studio album Existence is Futile – which tackles themes including “existentialism, existential dread and fear of the unknown” – in October last year.

Richard Shaw – who departed the band at the same time as keyboardist Anabelle Iratni – was replaced by Aether Realm's Donny Burbag.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.