Mark Reale, guitarist and founding member of metal band Riot has passed away at the age of 56. As Noisecreep had previously reported, Reale was recently admitted to a San Antonio hospital in critical condition due to complications of Crohn's disease. According to Blabbermouth, the guitarist had been in a coma for the past two weeks after suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage on Jan. 11.

Riot have since released the following statement on their fallen comrade:

"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."

Reale and the rest of Riot had been rehearsing for their upcoming performances aboard the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise to Grand Cayman. But during a series of practices in Texas, the guitarist began suffering severe symptoms of Crohn's disease, which put him in the hospital. Reale had been working through almost constant pain throughout the recording of their new album 'Immortal Soul.'

The band is no stranger with death and disease. Their original lead singer Guy Speranza died of pancreatic cancer in 2003 and their second singer Rhett Forrester was murdered in 1994, years after leaving the band. Reale is survived by his father Anthony, and will sorely be missed by the metal community.

Watch Riot's Video for 'Bloodstreets'

Learn About Crohn's Disease