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                     Cryptic Writings  1997  Capitol

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                                             Megadeth : Cryptic Writings

This album is coming off what I considered to be one of Megadeth's stronger albums, Youthanasia. Around time of this release, Dave said Cryptic Writings would contain elements of each of their last few albums. And, he's right: there are some crunching songs here that could fit on earlier 'Deth albums with little problem. The production is top-notch, as Dave's vocals and the instruments come through very nicely.
The opener "Trust" (and lead single) starts off with a beautiful symphonic intro that leads into an addicting sing-along chorus, followed by a very nice accoustic section that marks right after the solo is finished. "Almost Honest" is another radio hit, which starts off pretty heavy, but wears off a bit towards the climax. "Use the Man," picks up through midway and has a strong climax. "The Disintegrators" could have fit in between Rust In Peace or Countdown to Extinction, and "I'll Get Even" and "A Secret Place" are both atmospheric, moodier songs. "She-Wolf" is a very stead almost Iced Earth like tune. Album closer "FFF" is a short but sweet blistering track, with Dave sounding very pissed off with what's going on in the world.
Cryptic Writings is a bit incohesive in places, with a lot of songs that seem like they belong on other albums. Small complaint, however: A very mature album from a band that has come a long way since their early beginnings. The diversity in sound should appeal to all fans who enjoyed at least one other Megadeth album.

1. Trust                                                                             7. Sin
2. Almost Honest                                                              8. A Secret Place
3. Use the Man                                                                 9. Have Cool, Will Travel
4. Mastermind                                                                10. She-Wolf
5. The Disintegrators                                                     11. Vortex
6. I'll Get Even
                                                             12. FFF

Reviewed by Sam