Produced by Dann Huff and Dave Mustaine
Dave Mustaine - vocals, guitars
David Ellefson - bass
Marty Friedman - guitars
Nick Menza - drums
Total running time: 46:51
Following the release of their small album Hidden Treasures
, which was followed by Youthnasia
, Megadeth released Cryptic Writings. Many fans were disappointed with this album because once Countdown to Extinction
was released, they slowly moved towards regular metal instead of thrash. For those who have listened to Youthnasia
before, you can see that many songs don't acquire those thrash like characteristics. Anyways, the direction of this album seemed more commercial. The production and shortening of the songs seemed like that was the direction that Megadeth wanted. Most importantly, the anger in mustaine's voice was gone. Where was that passion that you hear, like in holy wars, or peace sells? Many die hard fans were probably pleased, but yet again, many weren't.
This is an excellent song to start out the album with. It starts out with a cool headbobbing drum beat. The guitars slowly come in, and the momentum builds into an explosive heavy riff, that is the main riff. After the 2nd chorus, the song slows down into a small acoustic riff. Slowly but sure it builds, then EXPLODES again into the solo ( I literally mean explode). Marty Friedman's solo goes well with the song, yet I think he could have done a lot better. The song then finishes after the chorus again. This song is definitely different from normal songs because Megadeth tend to sing about politics, or war or other things, but this is about love in a relationship. A bit awkward at first, but a brilliant song to start the album.
Almost Honest 4.5/5
I found that noise for the first few seconds very irritating, but then the riffage starts. I would say that this song is definitely a commercial song. The riffs in this song definitely arent thrash, but they are good riffs. The verse is him singing softly over a good drum beat with a bass. The chorus is more melodic, and looks to have some pop influence in it. At about 2:13, the song goes into a little acoustic riff, which is very pleasing, and then into the solo. Friedman is the man. The song finishes again with the chorus. This overall is a very good song, if you look at it from a different perspective. If you are someone who loves thrash, this is not a good song for you. I am one of those people, but this song sounds so good.
Use the Man 3/5
This song kind of sounds like Almost Honest in a way. It has some acoustic riffs in it. Although I am not a person who hates Mustaines voice, in fact I like it, but I think Mustaine should have worked on singing a little more in this song. He didn't sound very good during the verses. This song sounds pretty good, but still, NOT thrash.
I love this song, one of the best on the album. It starts off with a killer bassline, then the guitar riff, which is even better. Wow, what a riff. Mustaine's voice will be VERY irritating for people that don't like his growling in this song, as he does a lot of growling. The chorus is very cool, as he shouts Mastermind and sings. This song has a nice solo by Friedman. Most importantly, this song doesn't lose its momentum. It starts strong and ends strong. Great riffs, great song!
The Disintegrators 5/5
Awesome song. Here is where you see Rust in Peace influence. It starts off with a riff, then busts into the verse where the guitar is fast, singing fast, drums fast, FAST FAST! Woooh, a really good song. Fairly short you could say, but it sticks to the thrash, and doesn't lose any momentum. It stays strong the entire way through. Great song!
I'll Get Even 4/5
I love the intro to this song. It is very calm and cool, and then Mustaine starts to sing. This song, isnt thrash at all , but more just plain Metal. This is a more melodic metal song. I really liked Mustaine's singing on this song; superb. After the solo, you hear this nice heavy riff that gets you headbanging. This song follows the same pattern of any other song, with having one solo. Come on Megadeth, we need some Hangar 18s. We will see any? Let's find out.
This song sounds purely rock. The riff is rock, everything rock. I don't see any metal in this song. You probably have to like the intro of the song to like the rest of it. The song loses its momentum at the end. I am very open-minded, so it sounds good. But I probably couldn't stand listening to it 4 times in a row.
A Secret Place 3/5
Keep in mind that I am very open-minded to music. I was a person who liked the intro riff. If you don't like this intro riff, then this is probably one that will be skipped. Obviously, this is not a thrashy song. Friedman's solo is short, just like most of the other songs. This song sounds good and all, but it lacks that vibe.
Have Cool Will Travel 3/5
The intro riff isn't too good. Mustaine uses it over and over for a while until the chorus. Now this is a GOOD chorus. Very nice and melodic. This song, not thrash at all. This song to me sounds like a filler song. The only reason I gave it a 3 and not a 1 is because I really liked the chorus. Otherwise, it is not very good.
Woah, this is nice. The song starts out with a nice thrasy open E riff. And when the chorus starts, it sounds very melodic. This song is very nice. It keeps its good pace , and the end solo is just, WOW! Great song!
I liked the intro riff. But then, the song gets boring. It follows the SAME pattern of writing as the other songs. Seems like just another song to me. Only reason I didn't give it a 1 is because I love Megadeth.
The intro to this song is like pure punk, WTF?! The song stays that way until Nick Menza starts pounding on his drums and the double bass comes in, increasing its momentum. But wait, for only a few seconds. To me, a horrible way to conclude this album.
-Good melody on some songs
-Marty's solos were short
-Where is the thrash?!?!?
-Some songs go nowhere
-Some bad riffs
-Where is the thrash?!?! (said again for emphasis)
For people who love thrash and like Megadeth's earlier albums, this is NOT the album for you. It has no influence of Thrash except for a few songs. Keep in mind, that their next album after this was Risk *shudders*. For people who are die-hard fans, add this one to your collection, it aint bad. Keep in mind, I was very open-minded on these songs, so your view towards them will definitely be different. The biggest trend I noticed was that the album opened with Trust, a Megadeth classic. Then, the rest of the songs didn't compare to its opener, and the album closed with something not too great. As an album overall, I give this a 3/5