Cryptic Writings review by Megadeth

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  • Released: Jun 17, 1997
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (48 votes)
Megadeth: Cryptic Writings

Sound — 10
First of all I would like to say that I used to think Metallica were way better then Megadeth. Then I actually started listening to Megadeth and realized neither is better, they're both the best at the style they choose. While Metallica chooses to create atmosphere, Megadeth simply wants to have fun(see Metallica's "The Four Horsemen" and Megadeth's original version "Mechanix"), and with this album they definitely have some catchy songs that the pop-music kids would've bought if they had ever gotten past the fact the band's name was Megadeth while it also pleases fans of thrash metal. I have a copy of the remixed and remastered version(these things are great, basically the compact disc version of dvds in terms of extras) which includes liner notes from Dave Mustaine (frontman) that talk about how much of a pain it was to make this album. Well pain paid off, I'd say. 01. Trust - an absolutely catchy main riff and a song you can listen to over and over again. 02. Almost Honest - definitely fun to listen to and a wonderfully upbeat outro riff. 03. Use The Man - at first I didn't like this, but then I grew into it and I must say it's got the best beat of any slow song (slow for the first half anyway) I've heard. 04. Mastermind - Dave's faux-robotic vocals get a bit annoying, but the overall song has a good beat and when the song picks up volume close to the end ("I tell ya what to think, I don't care what you thought!") it's catchy but it (the song, not the interlude just mentioned) can get annoying sometimes. 05. The Disintegrators - ever wonder what a good thrash metal song about anarchy and "hell on two wheels" would sound like in 1997? Pretty much a nice fast riff, and an "I want to go outside ride now and run a mile cause of the adrenaline boost" chorus. 06. I'll Get Even - Dave getting angry at Metallica in the most positive way possible: a catchy song despite some shortcomings like being a little slow. 07. Sin - the vocals in the bridge are screechingly annoying and the song itself, aside from an OK chorus is really rather dull. 08. A Secret Place - I love that even though the lyrics get a bit repetitive, the ambiance of a secret place is so well done with dream-like riffs I don't really care. 09. Have Cool, Will Travel - upbeat, with harmonica sound effects and a slowed down but still catchy and cool as the rest of the song chorus. 10. She-Wolf - I like the main verse and chorus and near-outro guitar solo, but sometimes the end solos played by both guitars can make it sound like the CD is skipping. 11. Vortex - good intro riff and pretty fun to listen to but Dave's vocals can get downright embarrasing. 12. Fff - my favorite song on the album mainly due to the excellent chorus riff. The verse riff is the same as Metallica's "Motorbreath" but Dave wrote it so it's his. 13. Trust (Spanish version) - the chorus is the only part translated into spanish, and it sounds like Dave is trying to sing fast enough to fit all of it in. And if you're a straight guy it feels even wierder to listen to the whispered interlude, but if you're a girl who likes accents then it's better(I'm the former). Still, this change in languages doesn't wroen the song and the outro solo is a lot more prominent. 14. Evil That's Within - playing "Sin" at a lower tuning actually makes it sound heavier and easier to get into. 15. Vortex (alternate version) - played at a lower tuning and a bit slower. 16. Bullprick - a far less serious version of Fff, which I like but it's harder to hear the chorus riff that I love so, but that's ok b/c Dave's vocals add to the hilarity (find out why in the lyrics portion of this review).

Lyrics — 8
Overall, the lyrics either don't affect much, are embarrasing, or add to the song. They aren't very important to me as long as the stuff sounds good, but what the hell, I'll review them anyway: 01. Trust - song about a couple who doesn't trust each other. Not really that interesting but agreeable nonetheless. 02. Almost Honest - about someone telling someone else they love them but not really meaning it while the person having it said to takes it thinking "Oh my God you love me too much." I can relate, but again not that interesting. 03. Use The Man - it's about suicide and the line reads "I've seen the man use the needle, seen the needle use the man" so it might be about people shooting up on heroin getting depressed and wanting to commit suicide. The song says "Cryptic writings on the wall" and it's a good cryptic writing. 04. Mastermind - absolutely embarrasing lyrics about some robot mastemind. 05. The Disintegrators - some may find the idea of bycycle gang slayers coming to town a bit cheesy, but I think it fits the song well. 06. I'll Get Even - I think it's a little sad Dave is still talking about Metallica but I actually like some of the lines in here like "Slightly schzophrenic, me and me and me agree, that you are gonna pay for what ya did to me" good on Dave, he knows he's a bit mental. 07. Sin - the chorus asks to look inside and see the reasons that we sin and I followed the advice: I sinned by screaming swears at the top of my lungs b/c the moronic cat-screeching interlude awoke the devil throgh it being some demon-like yelling ritual that summoned him. 08. A Secret Place - creates a good feeling of a tempting "secret place" kind of like an eden you are always attracted to until you want to get out and you can't. 09. Have Cool, Will Travel - I have no idea what "Have cool, will travel" means exactly but I know the song is about actually doing something to fix society's problems rather than mindless blame and finger-pointing or witchhunts, like the west memphis three that website is important. 10. She-Wolf - blatantly sexual and absolutely hilarious, this wicked temptress knows how to please. 11. Vortex - "As medieval as merlin, a pact for power was made" pushes the cheesy factor a bit but "Curse the falling rain, the vortex of pain" is a pretty good line. 12. Fff - fight for freedom goes along well with the fist-pumping good riffs. 13. Trust (Spanish version) - while the chorus vocals are rushed the lyrics are still saying the same thing. 14. Evil That's Within - "Bastards possessed to no end" rather than "Actions progress to no end." I think I agree with producer Dan Huff on changing them for the original album. 15. Vortex (alternate version) - "Menomephostilian transaction" instead of "Lucifer in transation" though as Dave says they're really quite the same. 16. Bullprick - Dave wrote this about a noisy construction tool being used outside of his El Paso htel room then had a dream about a gigantic bullprick (construction tool) killing everyone by mowing them down. Worth listening to for the chorus line alone (on your backs, in your face, down your throats, up your ass).

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, a few embarrasing lyrics can't bog down a catchy album that never ceases to bring the good riffs. If it were stolen I'd buy it again but I'd much rather just find the guy who stole it and beat him with some form of metal object. Or possibly a dead cat. Interesting fact: Dave played the Spanish version of Trust to a South American who was flipping him off and telling him Metallica was better. Upon hearing the song, the angry little guy began bowing to Dave.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    What's with you people? This album is incredible. A Secret Place is one of the best songs in history and this album has everything a Megadeth fan could want; fast songs, slow songs, heavy songs, soft songs, political lyrics, love songs, suicide songs...need I go on?
    Guys, I'm a huge Megafan and this album is great, just as not_dead_enough just mensioned. Just listen to She-Wolf, such a great metal song...
    I have no idea how this album got a 9. It is so lyrically and musically weak it isn't even funny.
    that there is a song on here about metallica kicking him out 14 years after the fact is more than pathetic.
    I cant dig it. Two epic/classic songs (trust&she-wolf), a couple of nice beats and a lot of fillers. It will never be their best in my opinion. LISTEN THE THREE PREVIOUS ALBUMS FOR GOD SAKE!
    Why do u all assume Ill get Even is about "that" metallica incident? My interpretation of it is that he's playing the role of some1 who got ****ed by some1 they loved/trusted. Don't think just cause its dave he's bitchin about metallica lol, i think it wud've been a little bit late in his career to write a song about that. Or mabye not...
    I enjoy this album, i normally listen to it while i'm in bed though. And to the guy who wrote the first review who said "Fff - my favorite song on the album mainly due to the excellent chorus riff. The verse riff is the same as Metallica's "Motorbreath" but Dave wrote it so it's his" - Motorbreath was entirely written by James Hetfield. And i always thought i'll get even was about a girl for some reason, don't know why!
    this is a great album, there's no bad thing about it. it may not be as deadly and thrashy as previous releases, but this album is very very unique. one of my favorite Megadeth albums