Massive Titans of Rock tour will include members of Guns n' Roses, Def Leppard, Kiss, Metallica, others

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An armada of metal standouts will join forces for an unprecedented tour aptly titled Titans of Rock, including members of Guns n’ Roses, Def Leppard, Deep Purple, Kiss, Metallica and others.

Among those taking part are Duff McKagan (Guns n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), Ed Roland (Collective Soul), Gene Simmons (Kiss), Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses, Rockstar Supernova), Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion), Jason Newsted (Metallica, Voivod, Rockstar Supernova), Matt Sorum (Guns n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), Joe Elliot (Def Leppard), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe).

Already announced stops are set across South America, including Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala and Costa Rica. No word yet on whether the tour will continue into the U.S.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on bands whose members are featured in the Titans of Rock tour. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: KISS: News that Kiss is back in the studio, working toward the 2012 release of a new project called Monster, got us scurrying back to our old album collections. And not just because of those fond memories of playing air guitar with former guitarist Ace Frehley during Kiss Alive. Bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons said something interesting about the sessions: “This new record feels heavier than (2009’s) Sonic Boom. It feels like a connection between Destroyer and Revenge. Those were but two of the favorites we discussed here.

GUILTY PLEASURES: DEF LEPPARD – YEAH (2006): You know the cliché: Covers albums are an artist’s last gasp. It seemed a really sad step for them. I gave them another shot when 1999’s Euphoria came out, which was being touted as a return to the Pyromania days, but it felt hollow to me. I didn’t even hear, let alone buy the follow up to that, X, but gathered that it left most fans unhappy. After that, a covers album? I was prepared for something really embarrassing — a bunch of tired-sounding covers, surely. Wow, was I blown away when this thing started playing. I found myself unable to stop listening.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: METALLICA – ST. ANGER (2003): Some trademark riffs were noticeable here and there, but essentially the band’s sound on St. Anger was all new, and as such I had to listen to this as if the band was new to me too. And what I heard was, if not especially groundbreaking, an aggressive, honest assault that was straining to free itself of the past while doing the very things the band knows the fans love about them. No, it’s still not perfect: James Hetfield’s singing is not a highlight by any means (where is that growl we all loved so much, James?), and there’s nary a guitar solo out of Kirk Hammett to be found. But if you give it an honest chance, it might just work its way into you the way their old material did.

FORGOTTEN SERIES: BLACK SABBATH – SABOTAGE (1975): Sabotage isn’t likely to overtake the groundbreaking debut record or the hit-filled Paranoid as Sabbath’s best work in most people’s minds, and I understand that. But the next time you’re looking for a Sabbath fix, dig a little deeper and give it a listen, especially if you haven’t heard it in a while. It might just be a much better record than you remember. Recorded at a time when the relationships in the band were just beginning to fracture, the album has a slightly different feel than the first five Sabbath albums. Sabotage represents a band still at the height of its powers, but just on the brink of slipping into chaos, and that translates into the music.

DEEP PURPLE – SHADES OF DEEP PURPLE (1968; 2011 REISSUE): Coming together in 1967, Deep Purple were like a lot of bands of the day, as their mission was to push the sonic envelope as far as possible and create something new and exciting. Based out of Hertford, England, the group achieved their goal straight away. Dramatic and bombastic, Deep Purple played a tumultuous blend of heavy metal and progressive rock before such labels arrived into being, tagging them pioneers of the genres.

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