Rating:
8.0
Megadeth - Cryptic Writings
30 May 1997


01. Trust
02. Almost Honest
03. Use The Man
04. Mastermind
05. The Disintegrators
06. I'll Get Even
07. Sin
08. A Secret Place
09. Have Cool, Will Travel
10. She-Wolf
11. Vortex
12. FFF
13. One Thing [Japanese bonus]
14. Trust [spanish version][2004 re-release bonus]
15. Evil That's Within [2004 re-release bonus]
16. Vortex [alternate version][2004 re-release bonus]
17. Bullpick [2004 re-release bonus]


1997 was the year of the renewal for Megadeth. Dave Mustaine and his three mates came back after three fabulous albums. Yet it must be said that since 1994 and Youthanasia, there had been a period of scarcity. So Megadeth hired a new producer [you hear it!], Dan Huff, a strange choice, for he was mainly known for his work in country-music. At the first listening, the word renewal seems wrong, while summary sounds righter. Cryptic Writings is actually the album of maturity.

'Trust' is a perfect example, with this riff a la 'Enter Sandman'. This is an interesting track that shows the unity of the band around Dave Mustaine. Then comes 'Almost Honest', with a catchy air and good vocals. We can notice that the topics of hypocrisy and honesty are widely discussed, as heard on 'Trust', 'Almost Honest' or 'I'll Get Even', a surprising and sylphlike [in the good sense] song, with a cool look of variety show that avoids the horrors of commercial-attitude. 'A Secret Place' is in the same tune, but owns more emotion and is really the highlight of the album.

Even though Megadeth does not search for the killer riff anymore, Cryptic Writings has powerful and speed songs like 'The Disintegrators', 'Vortex' or 'FFF', that could have been on the previous albums. The very god 'Use The Man' does not sound like any other song, with an intro that seems to come from a radio of the 60's and an unconventional and catchy structure, even if it is a bit disturbing. This feeling is enhanced by the dark and aggressive 'Mastermind'. As said before, Cryptic Writings is not really a 'guitar-album', but the great lyrism of Marty Friedman is still there, on 'Vortex' or the excellent 'She-Wolf', that alternates violent verses and melodic choruses. The remainder, 'Sin' and 'Have Cool, Will Travel' are a bit too standard.

Finally, we can quote Dave Mustaine, who said that Cryptic Writings is the accession of Megadeth to a certain professionalism. Moreover, we can't help comparing with Metallica in the good years [before 1992], even if these similarities do not hurt the band's identity and the album's personality. In any ways, Cryptic Writings is excellent. Go! Enjoy!


Band profile: Megadeth
Album: Cryptic Writings


 


written by Gorey | 22.09.2003


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Megadeth_Matt - 06.10.2007 at 01:04  
I really dont believe that this album is quite as bad as the rating might reflect. True that it is not as good as other Megadeth, I have all but The World Needs a Hero, yet it is still a brilliant album
Dangerboner - 06.10.2007 at 05:40  
I actually like this album. It's not as fast as it should be, but Dave went back to his blues influences and made his last good album.
Collin - 06.10.2007 at 13:06  
Written by Megadeth_Matt on 06.10.2007 at 01:04

I really dont believe that this album is quite as bad as the rating might reflect. True that it is not as good as other Megadeth, I have all but The World Needs a Hero, yet it is still a brilliant album


How is 8 a bad rating?
Megadeth_Matt - 08.10.2007 at 05:50  
Written by Collin on 06.10.2007 at 13:06

Written by Megadeth_Matt on 06.10.2007 at 01:04

I really dont believe that this album is quite as bad as the rating might reflect. True that it is not as good as other Megadeth, I have all but The World Needs a Hero, yet it is still a brilliant album


How is 8 a bad rating?


no no, your post was fine. it is very telling, good job actually. i was referring to the 7.6 that 112 votes gave the album on its album page. i believe i gave it a 9 or so
Collin - 09.10.2007 at 10:25  
Ah ok haha I thought you were talking about the rating given in the review I agree with you that, although a lot of people dislike this album, it is actually very good. The only song I can't stand is Have Fun, Will Travel. The rest is different from usual Megadeth stuff, but fine nonetheless
Jonnz of Steel - 12.04.2008 at 16:15  
Don't like this one, their worst imo =/
Axe Argonian - 01.12.2010 at 02:12  
This was the first Megadeth album that I listened to. Frankly, I thought it was quite generic. The only reason why I listened to it was because some guy on eBay decided to throw this in as a "freebie" album.

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