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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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31 Comments on "Riot Guitarist Passes Away"

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CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

1. CROMCarl writes:

This is so devastating! I don't know what to say. The moment the band makes its finest album, we lose a legend!

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 6:58 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

2. Blindgreed1 writes:

Fvckin cryin shame. RIP... *raises his sword and shot of tequila*

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 8:16 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. Metaljim writes:

I bought Narita back in 1980 and have been a loyal fan ever since. Have all their stuff and play it regularly. F*ck, this sucks. He was only two years older than me... My thoughts go out to his family, friends and many fans.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 8:21 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
godlike's avatar

Member

4. godlike writes:

This really sucks.!


RIP

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 8:34 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

5. CROMCarl writes:

My "Restless Breed," "Born In America," "Thundersteel," and now "Immortal Soul" CD's now grace prominently the walls of my metal man cave! Shine On Mark - thanks for 30+ friggin years of mastery!

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 8:54 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

6. Blindgreed1 writes:

It's a Riot day all day.

NP: CIA

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 10:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. HMR writes:

It is a tragic day for anyone into classic hard rock and heavy metal.To many of us, Mark Reale epitomized talent, humility, and resilience. He was a natural musician and a true survivor. To say he would be sorely missed would be an understatement. With Mark's passing, the world has been robbed of one of the finest live acts. I'm sure the legions of Riot supporters worldwide would join me in offering sincerest condolences to his friends and family; for many of us, Mark has been a part of our family for years, and we truly share the weight of this grave loss.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 10:33 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
wilco's avatar

Member

8. wilco writes:

sad news a great guy he will be missed
lucky i did see him a couple of times live

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 10:37 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
obscured_by_clouds's avatar

Member

9. obscured_by_clouds writes:

thats too bad but lets celebrate his life not his death

THUNDERSTEEL!!!!!

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 1:42 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

10. CROMCarl writes:

@HMR - "robbed" is perfect, but too kind a word my lost, but now found, Metal Brother. He was "ripped" from us. I played Thundersteel so many times it is part of my genetic code.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 1:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
WOLF7's avatar

Member

11. WOLF7 writes:

It's only January and another one gone already. Absolutely a terrible start for the new year.

Rest in peace, sir.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 2:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

12. Blindgreed1 writes:

NP: Fight or Fall

Riot (RI'-UT)- See truly underrated and underappriciated Icons of metal.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 2:19 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ZMA's avatar

Member

13. ZMA writes:

Sad to say I never listened to this band. But this seems like a big impact and losing a great musician is always sad. RIP.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 2:19 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

14. Blindgreed1 writes:

First Guy, then Rhett, now Mark... RIP Riot.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 2:23 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

15. CROMCarl writes:

@Blindgreed: you can also add "completely overlooked" to that perfect definition. You truly appreciate amazing bands my friend!

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 2:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

16. Cynic writes:

This is such sad news, RIP Mark your music will not be forgotten - you will be the "Immortal Soul" through Riot's metal legend.

I personally hold "Thundersteel" to be one of the greatest metal albums of all time, no mincing words. They one band who always stood tall for metal and with their latest album it finally seemed like they'd get the credit they always deserved - it was also my album of the year.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 3:14 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

17. CROMCarl writes:

@ Cynic \m/ \m/ - "Immortal Soul" - 2011 Album of the year - a no doubter for me as well!

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 3:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

18. Blindgreed1 writes:

CROMcarl: These guys were right there "when the dam began to burst". Everybody knew who Saxon and Maiden were, but only the hardcore metalheads knew about Riot and 9 out 10 of those hardcore metalheads were musicians who were trying to work Swords and Tequila into their setlists. Myself included. I believe Mark's was the first "machine gun" riff I'd ever heard. Bought everything they released until Rhett was killed by a fvcking crackhead (such a senseless crime and waste of amazing talent). Then I kida lost track of them until Thundersteel and this last release.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 3:38 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

19. CROMCarl writes:

Well said! I even have Rhett's solo records! I followed Riot from the mid-80's until now. Even the Mike DiMeo years were amazing. "Nightbreaker" is and all to often overlooked classic. "Brethren of the Long House" was brilliant as was "Inishmore." "Army of One" was incredible. Its so sad how many classics this band has put out throughout all the adversity, deaths and ignorance they went through - but still they persevered. I never was more excited to hear that the "Privledge of Power" lineup was back. I tracked "Immortal Soul" from the moment I knew it was going to happen, and it almost didn't!

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 3:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

20. Blindgreed1 writes:

Looks like Riot is clearly worthy of a "Sunday Old School" piece. Can either you or Cynic get on that ASAP? Lol.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 4:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

21. Blindgreed1 writes:

Oz even??? Somebody? Anybody???

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 4:12 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

22. Cynic writes:

I'm thinking of doing something, a special review piece because I think Carl said it best, they always persevered for classic metal through all the adversity they faced.

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 4:34 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

23. Blindgreed1 writes:

So let it be written... \m/\m/

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 5:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

24. hellrat writes:

What the fvck man...this is some bullsh!t, what terrible news...goddamn

Blind, ya nailed it brother... So few people I run into EVER seem to know who they are, or appreciate them if they do

I used to have to tell my thrasher buddies to go fvck themselves when they'd poke fun at my Born in America record...they didn't even know what the fvck they were talkin about

Riot is fvckin awesome \m/

NP---Gunfighter--- BIA

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 9:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

25. CROMCarl writes:

I would love to do a piece on it, but I would bequeath that honor (if it was mine to bequeath) to the mighty Cynic! I think I would sound like a blubbering idiot, half in tears as I write it. Yeah, I'm not ashamed to admit that this one hit me really friggin hard today!

# Jan 26, 2012 @ 11:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
26. B1ueyedfiend writes:

I really can sympathize, my brother also suffers from this disease, we had quite the scare a few months back, it really is hell.

RIP Mark

# Jan 27, 2012 @ 12:32 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
27. gustavo rodriguez torres writes:

The first guy, the name is Guy Speranza bro...and R.I.P. Guy,Rhett and Mark ,this is a sad day and playing RIOT music all day long...

# Jan 27, 2012 @ 3:19 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
28. Vox Monster writes:

This deeply saddens me. The world was a better place with Mark Reale. Immortal Soul is the best album this year and the title makes you wonder if he knew he wasn't long for this world. His soul is Immortal and his work will live on in our ears and our hearts forever. R.I.P. my brother. We will all miss you.

# Jan 27, 2012 @ 10:17 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
29. HMRok writes:

--"Bought everything they released until Rhett was killed by a fvcking crackhead (such a senseless crime and waste of amazing talent). Then I kida lost track of them until Thundersteel and this last release."

Rhett Forrester was shot in early 1994, a full decade after leaving Riot. "Thundersteel" came out in 1988, 8 years prior...

# Jan 27, 2012 @ 12:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
30. Punisherdeath666 writes:

Will never for get you mark
RIP Our Metal Brother

# Jan 27, 2012 @ 3:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
31. HMRok writes:

-- "First Guy, then Rhett, now Mark... RIP Riot."

For those who don't know

Rhett Forrester--shot in early 1994
Guy Speranza--died of cancer late 2003

Rhett was first to go...

# Jan 29, 2012 @ 4:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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