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Review of the Album "Cryptic Writings" by American Heavy Metal Band Megadeth

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Cryptic Writings: Front Album Cover


A Megadeth Studio Album That You May Like or Not

Cryptic Writings is one of those albums that once again sees Megadeth experiment musically as they did in the 1990s and this is one of those albums that just like Youthanasia may be an acquired taste. This album however still has that metal music kind of feel and even in some cases, you do hear traces of the older Megadeth style but for the most part, Cryptic Writingsis an experimental album but is it the worst Megadeth album as previously thought? It is tough to tell sometimes because your feelings and or musical tastes about certain albums can evolve and or change though not all the time.

At the first review and analysis of this album, the case was being made that this was the album that saw Megadeth slide into mediocrity and really take a nosedive musically. But now that we are in November 2021, the album doesn’t feel as musically off as once previously thought. Certain albums can grow on us musically and Cryptic Writings may be one of those albums.

Analysis of the Songs Trust, Almost Honest, and Use the Man

The opening song "Trust" is a very good song about a relationship that really fell apart because they both lied and deceived each other. Deception is not a healthy quality to help a relationship last that’s for sure. "Almost Honest” has a decent bass line in the beginning as the song builds on yet another dysfunctional relationship. My goodness, how many more songs like these are we going to hear? This topic has been overdone and it is getting kind of over saturated. "Use the Man" has some cheesy oldies-style singing before Dave’s voice kicks in.

The Songs Almost Honest and Mastermind

"Almost Honest" is a decent song about a relationship built on dishonesty and misunderstanding. This is a topic that has been really re-hashed and overdone so if Megadeth was going to write another relationship song, they could have done much better. This is not a bad song but they could have done better. "Mastermind" is another cheesy song as Mustaine tries some lower voiced vocals which don’t really work.

The Song Called "Trust"

Cryptic Writings the Review Part 4

"The Disintegrators" is a very fast song but it does not reach the greatness of Poison was the Cure, or elite songs like Reaction on the Remains album. There are few guitarists that can match the greatness of Jeff Waters especially when it comes to rhythm guitars. The slower song "I’ll Get Even" is about someone that feels that he has been abandoned and thrown to the side of the road. He feels lonely and angry and it is only a matter of time before he gets even with the person that has basically treated him terribly. Some people just cannot even be trusted. The song is just okay. "Vortex" has some atmospheric sound in the beginning before turning into an average metal tune at best.

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Best Song on Cryptic Writings

The Song Called "She-Wolf"

Final Thoughts About Cryptic Writings

"A Secret Place" is about getting into some secret place or location then being unable to get out of it. The politically based song "FFF" is one of the best songs in Megadeth’s career! This one is pretty obvious what the theme is about. Sometimes we are convinced that we have to fight for what is right and address the injustices that exist in our society. The US gives us the freedom to fight for our country and do what is right to get us back on the right track.

The bottom line about 1997’s Cryptic Writings is that you will either love or hate the album. I have for the longest time not really liked this one all that much and even have classified it as the worst Megadeth album from 2016 through 2021. Cryptic Writings is an album that has three solid songs and these are Trust, She-Wolf, and FFF.

The song called "FFF" (Fight for Freedom)

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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