Another hero gone. Mark Reale, band leader of Riot for so many years has died. It’s staggering to look back at the number of fantastic metal classics this guy has been not only part of, but the main songwriter of. This guy’s been putting out records for nearly 35 years!

I consider the following must own classics:

Rock City (1977)
Narita (1979)
Fire Down Under (1981)
Restless Breed (1982)
Born In America (1983)
Thundersteel (1988)
The Privilege of Power (1990)

Fire Down Under is so incredible! I listen to it all the time. But really I can’t say I’ve heard a bad Riot album. Sadly I have never seen them live. :-( RIP Mark, your musical legacy will live on.

mark realeMark Reale, the founding guitarist of the legendary metal band RIOT, passed away earlier today (Wednesday, January 25) in a San Antonio hospital due to complications of Crohn’s disease — an ailment he has 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 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.