Vocalist Mike DiMeo, who recorded six studio albums and one live album with RIOT between 1994 and 2006, has issued the following statement regarding the passing of the band’s founding guitarist Mark Reale:
“I’m deeply saddened by the death of Mark Reale. He was a gifted songwriter, great musician and a true friend. I am honored and thankful that I shared many years with Mark touring and recording all over the world, memories that I will carry with me forever.
“Even though, to some, it may seem that he did not achieve massive commercial success, the only thing that Mark cared about was making music that inspired him. He was a true artist and his music is a reflection of that.
“To me, Mark‘s music is timeless… and I believe his many fans will see to it that his music lives on forever…
“Rest in peace, Mark… I will miss you… and shine on!”
Reale died yesterday (Wednesday, January 25) in a San Antonio hospital due to complications of Crohn’s disease — an ailment he had battled for most of his life. He was 56 years old.
Reale had reportedly been in a coma for the past two weeks after suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage on January 11.
Mark is survived by his father, Anthony Reale, and was preceded in death by his mother, Frances Reale.
Mark spent most of his life working and performing while enduring almost constant pain and the side effects of treatment for Crohn’s disease. He was in Texas bravely attempting to practice for the shows, but was felled by a severe onset of Crohn’s symptoms, leaving him in the Intensive Care Unit at an undisclosed facility. Mark was struggling with these symptoms throughout the production of RIOT‘s new album, “Immortal Soul”, and guitarist Mike Flyntz recorded a major portion of the guitars on the LP with Mark‘s creative direction while Reale was unable to perform.