Riot Guitarist Mark Reale Passes Away
Riot guitarist and founding member Mark Reale passed away yesterday (January 25th) due to complications from Crohn's disease. He was fifty seven years old. He had been in a coma since January 11th as a result of a subarachnoid hemorrhage. He had battled the disease for most of his life, and was bravely attempting to practice to perform with the band at their scheduled shows, before his condition worsened. His band mates have issued the following statement:
"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."
Metal Blade founder and CEO Brian Slagel commented:
"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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