This is some tough news to have to report. Anytime someone is taken from us early, it’s tough.

Mark Reale, the founding guitarist of the legendary metal band Riot, passed away yesterday (January 25) in a San Antonio hospital, from complications related to Crohn’s disease.

Reale lived with Crohn’s — often a debilitating ailment — all 57 years of his abbreviated life.

Reports claim Reale had been in a coma for the last two weeks, after suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage on January 11.

“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,” Riot says in a statement release collectively.

“Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated by Mark’s family, friends, and bandmates at this difficult time.”

The news was met with sadness from Brian Slagel, CEO and founder of Metal Blade.

“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 reissue Fire Down Under and the other early Riot albums on Metal Blade.”

Nice plug.

“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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