Hannover, Germany-based record label SPV/Steamhammer, which released RIOT‘s latest album, “Immotal Soul”, has issued the following statement regarding the passing of the band’s founding guitarist Mark Reale:
“With deep sadness we have to say goodbye to one of the most underrated guitar players and composers on this planet: Mark Reale.
“With albums like ‘Fire Down Under’ and ‘Thundersteel’, he created timeless metal music which will stand the test of time for many more decades.
“Last year’s studio album ‘Immortal Soul’ on remains his legacy, and what an album it was: RIOT were back for the attack!
“We will see how the remaining members will handle this but we think that Mark would be very proud of them if they continue and spread the music he created.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark‘s family, friends, and bandmates.”
Reale died 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.
“Sins Of The Father” audio stream (courtesy of AOL‘s Noisecreep):
“Still Your Man” audio stream: