Megadeth - Cryptic Writings review
|Release date:||May 1997|
02. Almost Honest
03. Use The Man
05. The Disintegrators
06. I'll Get Even
08. A Secret Place
09. Have Cool, Will Travel
13. One Thing [Japanese bonus]
14. Trust [spanish version][2004 re-release bonus]
15. Evil That's Within [2004 re-release bonus]
16. Vortex [alternate version][2004 re-release bonus]
17. Bullpick [2004 re-release bonus]
1997 was the year of the renewal for Megadeth. Dave Mustaine and his three mates came back after three fabulous albums. Yet it must be said that since 1994 and Youthanasia, there had been a period of scarcity. So Megadeth hired a new producer [you hear it!], Dan Huff, a strange choice, for he was mainly known for his work in country-music. At the first listening, the word renewal seems wrong, while summary sounds righter. Cryptic Writings is actually the album of maturity.
'Trust' is a perfect example, with this riff a la 'Enter Sandman'. This is an interesting track that shows the unity of the band around Dave Mustaine. Then comes 'Almost Honest', with a catchy air and good vocals. We can notice that the topics of hypocrisy and honesty are widely discussed, as heard on 'Trust', 'Almost Honest' or 'I'll Get Even', a surprising and sylphlike [in the good sense] song, with a cool look of variety show that avoids the horrors of commercial-attitude. 'A Secret Place' is in the same tune, but owns more emotion and is really the highlight of the album.
Even though Megadeth does not search for the killer riff anymore, Cryptic Writings has powerful and speed songs like 'The Disintegrators', 'Vortex' or 'FFF', that could have been on the previous albums. The very god 'Use The Man' does not sound like any other song, with an intro that seems to come from a radio of the 60's and an unconventional and catchy structure, even if it is a bit disturbing. This feeling is enhanced by the dark and aggressive 'Mastermind'. As said before, Cryptic Writings is not really a 'guitar-album', but the great lyrism of Marty Friedman is still there, on 'Vortex' or the excellent 'She-Wolf', that alternates violent verses and melodic choruses. The remainder, 'Sin' and 'Have Cool, Will Travel' are a bit too standard.
Finally, we can quote Dave Mustaine, who said that Cryptic Writings is the accession of Megadeth to a certain professionalism. Moreover, we can't help comparing with Metallica in the good years [before 1992], even if these similarities do not hurt the band's identity and the album's personality. In any ways, Cryptic Writings is excellent. Go! Enjoy!
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