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Release Date: Jun 17, 1997
Genres: Thrash, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Progressive Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
Cryptic Writings continues this evolution, which unfortunately reads better than it plays.
Rattlehead666, on november 21, 2005 3 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album was released in the year of 1997. It is Megadeth's seventh release. It is very different from the first six albums because this album shows a softer side to Megadeth or something. Some examples would be Trust, Almost Honest, I'll Get Even and A Secret Place. Some songs are not so soft such as Use The Man, The Desintegrators, She-Wolf, Vortex and FFF (Fight For Freedom). There are songs too that are a bit of both such as Mastermind, Sin and Have Cool Will Travel. The fastest song out of the twelve would propely be Vortex. This is a pretty good album but there can be a few improvements. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are about love, betrayel, magic and hate. Although I am not a big fan of lyrics having to do with love the songs were pretty good. My favorite songs for the regards of lyrics are Use The Man, Vortex and FFF. Dave Mustaines vocals sound a bit different in this album, they sound softer or sumtim like that but they sound a big better than the other albums. // 9
Overall Impression: Although this album ain't bad the original six albums are better but this album is way better than the 1999 release "Risk" and Metallica's "Reload." If the album had a few more songs that were like the first six this album would be awesome. If this album was lost I would propely buy it again because I got a heavy metal album collection started and I got 32 albums so I don't wanna lose one. // 10
genresrforposer, on february 20, 2006 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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). // 10
Lyrics: 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
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). // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 9
The Fiddler, on february 10, 2006 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound quality is up to par with the '90s and the album sounds great whether it's the original grey cover version or the black remastered version. Although not as blatantly commercial and po-infused as "Risk," "Cryptic Writings" is a noticeably slower moving album with simpler tracks such as "Trust" and "Almost Honest." The most pop oriented track was "I'll Get Even" which may be a major disappointment for those who have come to love the hard and fast hitting older albums like "Peace Sells" and "Rust In Peace." Despite these deviantions from the archtypical Megadeth sound, it is still uniquely Megadeth in essence and deserves a listen. // 8
Lyrics: As mentioned, the lyrics are more pop oreinted and easier to decipher than their previous albums (a bit ironic since the album title is "Cryptic Writings"). The album's lyrics and song titles generally deal with secrets, trust, deception and revenge (it's almost "emo" if you think of those themes in romantic context but I wouldn't dare call Megadeth "emo"). // 7
Overall Impression: I generally enjoyed the album for it's great sound quality and clarity. The songs are also easier to listen to due to simpler song structures and riffs, which is great for those who are new to metal or Megadeth though "Countdown To Extinction" is much better as a easy-listeing Megadeth album. I'd definitely keep this album and repurchase if it were lost. // 8