Cryptic Writings is the 7th studio disc by Megadeth. Cryptic Writings features the same band roster as Countdown to Extinction, but even with four top 20 radio hits, Trust, Almost Honest, Use the Man, and A Secret Place, the most success this album could muster was a gold album (over 500K units sold). I am sure the lack of sales had to leave Dave Mustaine scratching his head, as Cryptic Writings is nearly solid all the way through.
From the initial tribal drum beats of Nick Menza, I knew almost immediately that I was going to like this disc. The first three tracks, Trust, Almost Honest and Use the Man are solid mid temp rockers with heavy elements, and start off Cryptic Writings well. I don’t think disc falters until you hit the jangly track Mastermind. I didn’t care for that one much.
The Disintegrators is one of the heavier tracks on this disc, and this is classic Megadeth. This is something for the fans wanting a little more thrash in their music.
I’ll Get Even is more mainstream and hopelessly catchy. You will find yourself singing along with this track. Sin can’t seem decide if it wants to go mainstream rock or thrash. I couldn’t get into this track until the last minute of it or so, in which it picks up a heavy drum and bass rhythm.
A Secret Place is another radio friendly track that is a pretty good listen. This is one of least heavy Megadeth tracks I think I have ever heard, but it works.
Have Cool, Will Travel was just an average track to me. I go back and forth between liking this one, and not liking it.
If there were more tracks like She-Wolf on Cryptic Writings, I am sure that this disc would have sold a lot more copies. This is the first true high tempo offering with that classic guitar chugging, Megadeth speed metal. Vortex keeps that pace going well. There is plenty of guitar noodling on this track, but it is a little too late to push this disc over the edge.
FFF (Fight For Freedom) ends this disc with a heavy almost punk sounding track. It is an OK track but nothing essential.
Cryptic Writings may not live up to Countdown to Extinction or Youthanasia, but its another solid effort by Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, David Ellefson and Nick Menza. This CD is not as heavy as many in the Megadeth discology, and probably alienated a few fans along the way. It still has enough great mainstream songs to make it worthy of a pickup!
Rating:Out of 10
2. Almost Honest
3. Use The Man
5. The Disintegrators
6. I’ll Get Even
8. A Secret Place
9. Have Cool, Will Travel