Some bad news has come out of the camp of veteran heavy metal band Riot. Founder and guitarist Mark Reale is hospitalized in critical condition because of severe complications from Crohn's disease -- an ailment Reale has battled for most of his life.

Riot were founded in New York City in 1975 by Reale, and the band has maintained a long and successful career while touring with acts such as AC/DC, Kiss and Black Sabbath. Riot have released 15 studio albums, with their latest disc 'Immortal Soul' having hit record stores on Halloween of last year.

Earlier today (Jan. 13), Riot released an official statement on their website regarding Reale's condition:

Mark has been battling Crohn's for most of his life, working and performing while enduring almost constant pain and the side effects of treatment for his illness. 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.

The band has agreed that the performances will take place as scheduled with the possibility that Mark may not be well enough in time to appear. Riot would also like to acknowledge that Mark has been struggling with these symptoms throughout the production of their new album, 'Immortal Soul,' and that guitarist Mike Flyntz recorded a major portion of the guitars on the album with Mark's creative direction while he was unable to perform.

For this reason, fans can be assured that the show will be as exciting as anything Riot has ever staged, even if Mike needs to hold down double guitar duty. Mark will be sorely missed in this event, but the shows will go on.

We ask fans and friends of the band to pray for Mark's speedy recovery, and to support the band in our efforts to bring you the Riot reunion shows that have been so long in the making. While Mark's family insists on privacy during this difficult time, your prayers and good wishes will make it to his bedside until he is able to return to the stage.

Many thanks and Shine On!
Mike, Tony, Bobby and Don

As mentioned in the statement, Riot plan to stick with their current tour dates, including three upcoming Northeast dates and a stint on the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise / Festival that's set to leave the dock in Miami, Fla., on Jan. 23.