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on 24 June 2013
Hardcore thrash and Megadeth fans might grimace at the very uttering of the title of this album, as although this isn't their first foray out of the thrash spectrum ('Countdown' and 'Youthanasia' pretty much went down this road too) it was probably the most radio - friendly yet of their albums and, as with Metallica's 'Black Album' cost Megadeth as much old fans as it did recruit new ones.
This is Megadeth and their most stripped down and, you can almost say most simple, well, as simple as Megadeth can get I suppose - there's nothing here that bothers the bonkers, technical speed metal soloing or riffage of 'Hangar 18' on 'Rust In Piece' for example. But what there is, is a collection of very good songs and that's how in my opinion it should be judged.
'Trust,' 'Almost Honest,' ' Use the Man,' 'She Wolf,' still pop up occasionally on their live setlist and with good reason - they are kick ass songs. There are many other highlights here including the odd foray back to their thrash roots. Mustaine sings more than he sneers on this album as well.
The Pros very much outweigh the Cons and is a much stronger album than 'Youthanasia' and Megadeth's last really great album until 'Endgame.' A good starting point for anyone new to Megadeth or thrash / metal in general as well. A great album if you listen to it on its without comparing to previous efforts.
Narrow minded metal heads : Avoid! Fans of great rock / metal music : Apply!
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on 8 March 2015
It's an album. A piece and collection of music. Therefore, having made the purchase this should be obvious, I can say I like it. You may not. It's got some great songs on there.
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on 11 May 2017
very poor by megadeth standards this is their black album and just like that album it sucks big time
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on 23 November 2017
Having outlived the thrash era of the 80's and survived the grunge period of the 90's, it was evident that Megadeth were gradually going for a more radio-friendly sound with each album. While 1994's 'Youthanasia' still maintained a lot of the bands metal elements, 1997's 'Cryptic Writings' is where they really started to delve deep into "hard rock" territory.

Most fans probably scoffed at the thought, notoriously frowning upon any of their heroes for "selling out" to reach a wider audience and make more money. However, while this may not be the same thrash metal band that released such classics as 'Holy Wars', 'Hanger 18' and 'Peace Sells', the material here is still of a high quality, and the top-notch production really gives the band a very clear, vibrant, and contemporary sound. And it still holds up today.

'Cryptic Writings' is notable for being the final release featuring what many consider the "classic" Megadeth line-up, with drummer Nick Menza leaving the band after this album, and guitarist Marty Friedman leaving after the release of its successor, 'Risk'. Still, the members are as cohesive as ever here, and the lack of thrashy, speed metal riffs has given them more space to breathe, with a wider palette of ideas making for more colourful and varied compositions.

I was 12 years-old when I bought this on CD, and at the time it was heaviest thing I'd ever heard. In fact, this was my second Megadeth purchase after 1999's 'Risk', and so both albums have an endearing place in my heart. Hits such as 'Trust', 'Almost Honest', 'Mastermind' and 'A Secret Place' have stayed with me well into adulthood, and for the metal fans who crave for the Megadeth of old, there's songs like 'The Disintegrators', 'She-Wolf', 'Vortex' and 'FFF'.

Overall, 'Cryptic Writings' is a largely underrated album. It has an excellent sound, and consistently strong songs from start to finish, and if you can accept that the days of 80's thrash metal are dead and gone (and metal in general wasn't a hot prospect in 1997 either), then you'll find this to be one of the standout releases in Megadeth's discography.
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on 19 July 2004
I agree with Mr Blonde - this album is faultless.
Who could have thought that Megadeth could excel themselves again?
The album gets off to a very strong start with the classic Trust, one of my all time favourite songs.
It gets better with Almost Honest, and then goes into the album's - and Megadeth's - best song: Use the Man. This song is truly unbelieveable: it starts off slowly with a killer riff and lyrics, the solo is amazing, and the last chorus is unforgettable as the slow riff is transformed into a monster of thrash metal majesty.
After this masterpiece, it was hard to think that the rest of the album could be good. And it isn't good, its phenomenal. Mastermind has great lyrics, Disintegrators has the speed and power of their earlier work, Vortex has the best riff I've ever heard and She-Wolf is just a brilliant song. The other songs aren't bad either - I'll Get Even, Sin, Have Cool Will Travel and FFF are all great heavy metal. A Secret Place is the album's second best song. It starts with a mysterious Indian style riff (which proves Megadeth aren't all distortion) and goes into a unique song that will have you singing along with everyone of Dave Mustaine's groans in the legendary pre-chorus.
Megadeth really do deserve the attention that Metallica are currently receiving.
Have I said enough? The simple truth is I can hear this album enough. It is my favourite album of all time, and I have over 200 albums ranging from blues to hip hop to metal to punk.
Buy this album, then buy Megadeth's Greatest Hits, then buy anything by Minor Threat, Descendents or Pennywise.
P.S. Please visit [...] for more metal mayhem!
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on 5 March 2000
Being an out and out Metallica fan I knew that the Singer/guitarest of Megadeth used to play with them. So it was only out of sheer interest or intrigue in which I purchased Cryptic Writings. I'm so glad that I did. The opening track 'Trust' provided me with one of the best openings of an album since Metallica's 'Enter Sandman'. And the pace hardly relents. The song writing is top notch( in particular the magnificent 'Mastermind') and this is backed up by the high quality production. There is so much depth and difference in style that keeps you utterly engrossed. From the magnificent heavyness of 'Vortex' to the pop-friendly 'I'll get even' to the slow(ish) 'Use the mam'.Each song is fantastic in its own right and has enough to offer any listener. Wow, that is what really sums up this album. Now all I have to do is get the rest of the Megadeth collection and all you have to do is BUY THIS ALBUM! You will not be dissapointed!
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on 21 January 2016
This album is a poor one from megadeth. It's not bad it's just that it's not megadeth. It's not as good as peace sells, rust in peace, sfsgsw and countdown to extinction which are some of my all time favourite thrash metal albums. The only reason I bought this is because my addiction of collecting albums.
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on 30 August 2012
This is more of a Pop/Metal album in which you can
pick up the lyrics really quickly and be singing a long to it.
If you're a Thrash fan then I probably wouldn't recommend it but
it's a good album got some really catchy songs She-Wolf, The Disintegrators, A Secret Place..

One of my favourite Megadeth releases.
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on 6 August 2016
Great soild record! This proof Megadeth still on the top of their game throughout the 90's

The opening track is one of their best classic Trust which is a multipart song... great intro and middle section while some tunes came from Youthanasia session.... songs like She-wolf, Vortex, Disintegrators and FFF proof Megadeth still capable of delivering an old school style material.

Musically, Vortex is the highlight of this album for me, great classic Mustaine twisted riffing, tempo shift, great long solo by Friedman.
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on 22 December 2008
This Megadeth is a great deth album hard to define as a genre so will just call it metal. First before we get started i'm a massive fan of both Megadeth & Metallica love all there albums yes even Risk, load, reload, St. anger & The world needs a hero. This album and Risk are Megadeth's most underrated albums along with The world needs a hero all awesome album if you have an open mind. On to this awesome album, for me this was abit of a grower as please forgive me but Mustaines vocals got on my nerves abit but thankfully they grew on me and now I love the album still a couple of weak songs but the great songs kick major arse.

Best songs for me are Trust, Almost Honest, Mastermind, I'll get even, Sin, A Secret Place(love the opening riff), Have Cool, Will Travel(the harmonica is a cool touch to this song). So practically all off it. The musicianship on this album is brilliant as usual with megadeth albums. There's not much really else to be said, except this is an awesome album if you're a megadeth fan this is recommended if you have alot of their albums. Can't wait to see 'em in dublin with priest and testament and their newe album gonna rock. Rock on! ! ! !
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