Family matters and neck surgery have forced guitarists Paul Allender and James Mcilroy to sit out Cradle Of Filth's upcoming European tour with Behemoth. Band frontman Dani 'Filth' Davey announced the news in a statement on Tuesday (28Jan14), revealing the two musicians will be replaced by Czech rocker Ashok and British guitarist Richard Shaw. Davey writes, "It is with considerable amount of sadness and some awful twist of fate that we announce the absence of both Paul and James as Cradle Of Filth guitarists on this forthcoming European co-headliner with Behemoth. "This horrible and unprecedented turn of events is due to Paul having some hugely important family matters arise and James having his forthcoming serious neck surgery appointment moved forward by a couple of months. "Not wanting to pull the tour so late in the day (and with the awful spectre of the cancelled U.S. tour this time last year looming grimly over us), swift deliberation was made by Martin, Daniel, Lindsay, myself, band management... to bring in two friends of the band who knew the material as temporary replacements. A long shot at first, this is actually going to keep the band on the road and firing at 100 per cent when we hit Europe at the end of next week. "Paul apologises profusely for his absence, but wanted to let everyone know that he wouldn't desert a tour if it wasn't for something of the gravest importance to his family." Meanwhile, McIlroy reveals surgeons are "slicing my neck open from the front (well, a minor incision) moving all the things in my throat to one side (windpipe, gloopy bits, everything you can imagine), and then replacing the broken disc in my neck with a spanking new plastic one."