Ah, Megadeth. What would the thrash metal community do without them" Oh, they would probably move on I suppose but they would be very much in depression, or at least I would. Megadeth is in my opinion the best thrash band out there, and I urge everyone who is a fan of heavy metal to check these guys out, if they haven't already. The following is my opinionated review of their 1997 release Cryptic Writings, which was overlooked by many people.
Cryptic Writings is an excellent album, and here is why. Most of the songs are incredible, and are extremely well written. The music here is very much in the rock catagory, but that is definetly not a bad thing. Faster songs like "The Disintegrators" and "FFF" are very thrash-like and well worth a listen, and the solos are no less than impressive. However, slower songs such as "Use The Man" and "I'll Get Even" seem like absolute garbage at first, but after a closer listen the songs are actually quite enjoyable. They are quite catchy and fun to sing along to, as well as very well written. More melodic numbers, like "Mastermind" and Vortex" reminded me of their classic thrash song, which is quite possibly my favourite song of all time, "Tornado Of Souls." These musical pieces are quite worth the listen to, though there are some dissapointments to this particular album.
The things I disliked about the album is how many of the songs are very much at the same speed, except for the selected few mentioned above. also, some of the guitar solos are not nearly as impressive as their earlier stuff, namely "Trust." And some of the sounds are quite annoying, most specifically the ones at the start of "Almost Honest" and "Have Cool, Will Travel," which is actually another track that is a great song after a few more listens.
Even though most of the tracks are at a moderate speed, these pieces are among the best the rock genre has to offer, including "She-Wolf," "Trust," and "Almost Honest."
The sound of the album is quite good. Pretty well perfect actually. Except for the sound effects that were stuck in there. I thought the absolute worst song on this album was "I'll Get Even," until I gave that a closer listen as well. Now I'll probably tell you that the worst one here is "Have Cool, Will Travel," which is in general a well done track, even with the harmonica in it! That is an intrument that I never thought Megadeth would use.
The solos are not the highlights of the album this time, but the choruses were. Most of them were well done, with some cool riffs to go over it. The best chorus is probably the one in "FFF" because of the guitar riff that goes over it, and also the lyrics were cool.
The lyrics on this album are probably some of the best Megadeth have written. This line from "FFF,"
"Fight for freedom, fight authority, fight for anything, my country tis of me..."
...and this line from the classic, "Trust,"
"My body aches from mistakes, betrayed by lust, we lied to each other so much, there ain't nothing we trust..."
...are both excellent examples of well written lyrics.
The overall quality of this record is excellent, and I think every metal/rock fan should give it a listen. Although, I think this was the album that ultimately marked Megadeth's down fall (I thought Youthanasia was better than Countdown to Extinction).