Megadeth
Cryptic Writings


4.0
excellent

Review

by quaker66 USER (3 Reviews)
July 9th, 2011 | 13 replies | 4,065 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Great album overall, with certain flaws. Worth getting.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Lineup:

Dave Mustaine - Lead vocals, rhytm guitar
Dave Ellefson - Bass guitar, backing vocals
Marty Friedman - Lead guitar
Nick Menza - drums

Cryptic Writings came out in 1997, following its predecessor, Youthanasia. I long avoided this album, because everyone was telling me how bad it was, and indeed, when I first listened to it, I was pretty much like "meh". Dave Mustaine decided to went a bit more commercial direction, same as he did with Countdown To Extinction and Youthanasia and same as he did then with Risk. That was disappointing for many Megadeth fans, but Megadeth was gaining commercial success. It is very visible on overall production of the album - it's clean and slick and high budget really shows. Anyway. after several months, I decided to give it another chance and listened to it in detail, song by song.

Cryptic Writings can be divided into three categories. First category are hard rock songs. Then there are heavy metal songs. And also some thrash gems, which are among fastest since Countdown To Extinction and Rust In Peace, which is quite suprising.

The album starts off with Trust, which I think is quite decent, nothing special, but it has a decent riff and second part (the solo and further) is noticeably better. Lead guitar and bass are very well played. Then comes Almost Honest, which is somehow simillar to previous song, but it has somehow "more positive" mood, and again, very good bass part. Both songs have pretty trivial lyrics about relationships.

They're followed by Use The Man. Contains acoustic parts and the intro is a 60's song "Needles and Pins" by The Searcher. Dave Mustaine's voice was pushed to the foreground here and the lyrics deal with drug problems.

Things get noticeably better with Mastermind. It's a bit weird, but it's catchy, vocals are very good, chorus is nice, lead work is great, so is bass, riff is awesome. The lyrics are about future, when people are just mindless machines controlled by one "Mastermind".

The improving tendency continues with The Disintegrators, which is a thrash gem on the album - it's one of the fastest songs since Rust In Peace, guitar work is ferocious and Dave Mustaine's vocals are at their best. The song is about gangs riding motorcycles and breaking into houses. I was very pleasantly suprised by this song. It keeps momentum all time and never gets boring.

I'll Get Even has nice, calm intro and mainly great vocals. Overall, it's just "decent".

Unfortunately, then comes Sin, which is one of the worse songs here - really mediocre. It's just a simple rock song, very watered down, only part that stands out are the vocals. Remastered version of the album contains a song Evil that's Within, which is a demo version of Sin which didn't get on the album and it's noticeably improved, overall darker, heavier.

A Secret Place basically continues the medocrity. and so does Have Cool, Will Travel, which though has decent harmonica parts.

She-Wolf fortunately saves it and brings in great riffage, evil vocals, great soloing (in live versions, mostly extended) and is among the best songs here. Simillar can be said about Vortex, which would greatly fit in Countdown To Extinction.

FFF closes the album. It's a very punkish song, the name means "Fight For Freedom", which is quite obvious and unoriginal unfortunately. Still, it's a great song and great album closer. Its riff is somehow simillar to Metallica's Motorbreath. On remastered version, there is a song called Bullprick, which is a demo for FFF and has much better, hilarious lyrics.

Overall, Cryptic Writings is a essential part of Megadeth discography. It would be even better if the 3 fillers (Sin, A Secret Place, Have Cool, Will Travel) weren't there, but I guess that happens almost everytime :) Oh well .. the remaining 9 songs are great reason to buy this album.

Highlights:

Vortex
The Disintegrators
She-Wolf


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Comments:Add a Comment 
KILL
July 9th 2011



71372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dude great album

mastermind should be in recommended tracks tho rocks so ahrd

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Psychopathologist
July 9th 2011



1924 Comments


my body aches from mistakes

WatchItExplode
July 9th 2011



3220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love this stuff, Almost Honest is almost a power ballad but still rocks

KILL
July 9th 2011



71372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'll get even is pretty gay tho

and fff is fail

Psychopathologist
July 9th 2011



1924 Comments


fight for freedom

KILL
July 9th 2011



71372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea its gay

but vortex rules hard

DominionMM1
July 9th 2011



9786 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"A Secret Place basically continues the medocrity"

Dude, 'A Secret Place' rules it.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - In The Beginning

KILL
July 9th 2011



71372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dethtrasher reviewed this

wait so did wakeupdead omg

KronosRage
July 9th 2011



367 Comments


dick

KILL
July 9th 2011



71372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wana go bitch

Parallels
July 9th 2011



6641 Comments


there is some really underrated material here. glad sputnik appreciates it.

quaker66
July 10th 2011



11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@DominionMM1, dunno, I guess it's better than Sin, but it's IMO one of the worse songs there. Overall the album is greatly underappreciated though.

Psychopathologist
July 10th 2011



1924 Comments


this album isnt all that great though



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