RIOT guitarist Mark Reale dead at 57

Posted by SeanB on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 7:18 AM (PST)

Today is a sad day in the world of heavy metal.  Mark Reale, guitarist and founding member of the legendary heavy metal band RIOT passed away yesterday.  His passing was the result of a life long and courageous battle with Crohn’s disease.

Mark was tragically only 57 years young and had reportedly been in a coma since early January as a result of a subarachnoid hemorrhage.  This is especially heartbreaking becauese Mark was trying to practice with the band so he could perform right before his condition worsened.

Click here to read several statements released on Mark’s death.

Mark’s bandmates and longtime friends commented:

“To friends and fans of Mark Reale and Riot, we are deeply saddened to confirm that Mark has lost his battle with a lifelong illness. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated by Mark’s family, friends, and bandmates at this difficult time.”

Founder and CEO of Metal Blade Records Brian Slagel had this to say:

“I was a huge fan of Riot’s Fire Down Under album and got to interview them for my fanzine. Great guys and I was lucky enough to finally re-issue Fire Down Under and the other early Riot albums on Metal Blade. We signed the band for their second run, so to speak, and put out some records in the ’90s that did well, especially in Europe and Japan. It was a pleasure working with them and Mark was always a kind soul — an amazing player who really has a big time place in the history of metal. One of the really nice guys who put out some incredible stuff.”

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