Stuart Anstis: Cradle of Filth lead heartbreaking tributes as the band’s former guitarist dies aged 48

Stuart Anstis’ social media has been flooded with tributes following his death at age 48

Cradle of Filth have announced the tragic death of former guitarist Stuart Anstis at age 48.

His wife Antoinette and bandmate Dani Filth confirmed his passing in a series of social media posts, explaining that he passed on 21 August. The cause of Staurt’s death has not been disclosed.

Antoinette wrote on his Facebook page: “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…”

Founder of the extreme metal band Dani Filth wrote on Facebook: “It is with a deeply saddened heart that I have heard of the passing of my former guitarist Stuart Anstis at 48.

“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.

“’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.

“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.”

Stuart Anstis, from Devon, was in the group from 1995 to 1999.

He played on two of the group’s full albums, 1996’s “Dusk and Her Embrace” and 1998’s “Cruelty and the Beast” - which were both widely considered the band’s best and most influential music.

Most recently, he was part of the trio Ninepence, who also shared the news of his death on their Facebook.

Fans have been quick to share their condolences and fond memories of the metal guitarist.

One person wrote: “His presence and inspiring guitarwork were two very important ingredients responsible for that haunting atmosphere that has always given and will always be giving us such intense goosebumps while listening to old school Cradle. This is a sad day for Black Metal. Rest in total f***** darkness Stuart.”

Another said: “I’m shocked, I remember Stuart when he was in his teens always on about music wanting to form a band. Lost track of him over the years see him several times playing and just walking through the streets of Bideford in his own walk. I’m so very sorry to hear such sad news he will be greatly missed, my love goes out to his friends and family who are in great pain right now. May he rest in piece rocking the c*** out of it up there.”

A third commented: “Gutted is an understatement. I never met him but i did send him a message a couple of years ago saying how timeless his guitar riffs are on Dusk and Cruelty. He messaged me back thanking me dearly and sent me a Nicepence album that hadn’t been released at the time. He was the best guitarist Cradle ever had. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”