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Why I Love: Shrapnel on Megadeth

Shrapnel have released the new video ‘Begin Again’, taken from their third full length album Palace For The Insane, which was released in May via Candlelight Records. The UK thrashers continue to blaze a trail with their thrash sound.

On Begin Again, the band say, ‘The song holds a lot of meaning for us personally, as it deals with a lot of issues surrounding mental health. It came together following the passing of a friend of the band, and the entire UK thrash scene. It was a really shocking and upsetting experience for us, as we all had great memories with him and he was really important throughout the history of our band. Each of us has had our experience with mental health concerns, so it was a cathartic experience creating the song, and talking through some of these things. The song is really different for us, and we love it.’

We are privileged to welcome Chris Martin, guitarist with Shrapnel, to At The Barrier as he writes about his love of the music of thrash legends, Megadeth.

Best Megadeth Songs: 20 Essential Tracks For Droogies | uDiscover
Megadeth

Dave Mustaine is an irreplaceable force of nature. Having influenced most of the bands from one of the most influential genres of all time, he’s produced some of the greatest music for his own band.

From the speed and ferocity of Killing Is My Business, through the unique complexities of Rust In Peace, through to the undeniable catchiness and hooks of the later releases, Mustaine has proven himself time and time again as one of the most interesting and solid song writers. 

Whether you’re a fan of his voice or not, he’s a genius

Like most people, my way into metal  was Metallica. It’s only natural from there to move through to the surrounding bands and the first one you’re likely to hit is Megadeth because of the history. I was no different here. The thing is, Megadeth is an entirely different beast.

Countdown to Extinction - Wikipedia

When I was getting into Metallica, they were touring St Anger and the last 2 or 3 albums were basically rock albums. Megadeth were out of the game so I had to look backwards early and I hit into Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia and Rust in Peace at the same time. It was way more aggressive than Metallica was and I hadn’t gone back as far as the first 3 yet!

Man, those first records blew my mind. So aggressive, so sharp. As a guitar player as well, it just resonated with me that musicianship on the Megadeth records, even as late as Countdown and Youthanasia was a step up. I loved the hooks, I loved the vocals and don’t even get me started on the shreds…then shortly after I got those 3 records Megadeth dropped The System has Failed and that was it. Megadeth fan for life, the old records ruled, the brand new one kicked ass… They’ve been my favourite band ever since. 

Dean Dave Mustain VMNT-1 Metallic Silver-Free Shipping* | | Reverb

When Dave moved to Dean Guitars I bought one right away. I always liked V’s and I was Megadeth mad so I bought a VMNT1 in Silver, just like Dave was using on the tour at the time. The guitar arrived and that night I posted up on a local music forum about wanting to start a band. It had to be something like early Megadeth, early Metallica etc. This was late 2008 and about a week later, Shrapnel had its first rehearsal. A couple of different members and no band name at the time, it wasn’t until early 2009 we got everything together. I owe the founding of this band to getting that guitar and my obsession with Megadeth. 

Favourite songs now change weekly, maybe even daily. I would have a staple few though I guess. Holy Wars and Tornado Of Souls will always be special ones. Deeper cuts I love would include My Last Words, Chosen Ones, Hook in Mouth and Ashes In Your Mouth. 

I’ve seen Megadeth a bunch of times since 2004, the only band I’ve seen more times is Metallica, purely because they play more and headline more of the festivals I’ve been to. I believe I’ve seen them around 19 times. One of the best being in my hometown, Norwich in the UK.

R.I.P. MIKE ALEXANDER, 1977 - 2009 | MetalSucks
Mike Alexander of Evile.

I was surprised to see they were announced there and then I got to meet them outside the venue. This was also the show I was introduced to UK thrashers Evile and the whole UK Thrash scene that had sprung up. I got to know Mike Alexander following this show who was a good friend until he sadly passed away in 2009. Another great show was Priest Feast with Testament and Judas Priest in ‘09. I won a meet and greet for Megadeth and got to meet the guys again at Wembley.

Amazing. 

Many thanks to Shrapnel and Chris Martin for writing about their love of Megadeth for us.

Check out the immense new video below.

Shrapnel: Website / Facebook / Twitter

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You can read more from the Why I Love archive here.

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