The remixed and remastered Megadeth albums released in 2004 aren't your typical cash-ins. They're stark improvements over the originals: group leader Dave Mustaine did the remixing and remastering himself, making especially significant revisions to the earlier albums, and he includes insightful liner notes for each reissue, including track-by-track commentary for the bonus tracks, as well as lyrics and period photos. Like the other post-Rust in Peace albums, Cryptic Writings didn't get much of a makeover for its reissue. Recorded in 1997, long after Megadeth had broken into the metal mainstream, the album sounded mighty fine to begin with. The only substantial bonuses here are Mustaine's reflective liner notes and a quartet of bonus tracks: a Spanish-language version of "Trust," an alternate version of "Vortex," and a pair of unreleased tracks. These bonuses aren't substantial enough to warrant a second purchase of this album -- if you already own it, that is. If you don't already own this one, you're not missing too much. Granted, Cryptic Warnings is a fine album. The songs are well written, the musicianship is impressive, and the music itself is quite moody and atmospheric, much like that of its predecessor, Youthanasia. There are also a few really good songs here, most notably the opener, "Trust." All of those merits aside, the same problem plagues Cryptic Writings that had plagued most every other Megadeth album that followed Rust in Peace: longtime fans -- or at least those who remained on board at this point -- simply didn't like it. Yes, that's unfair perhaps, but that's just the nature of rock, and metal in particular -- few bands last beyond a few albums, and those that do, like AC/DC, do so because they don't change what won them fans in the first place. Megadeth clearly changed. That Mustaine and company were still soldiering ahead at this point says a lot about their determination. But as the liner notes acknowledge, this wasn't an easy time for Megadeth. Mustaine writes, "I was happy just to finish this record, because things were unraveling fast, and I was very sad to have to relive this record while remixing it," and you can feel his pain. After all, there is some great music here on Cryptic Warnings; it just wasn't of interest to Megadeth fans, most of whom had given up on the band by this point. Given this underlying sentiment of despair, Cryptic Warnings is somewhat of a depressing album to listen to presently. Regardless of the music itself, you can't help thinking of what had come of such an exciting band -- they had become unimportant and, as a result, sullen if not downright bitter.
Performance CreditsMegadeth Primary Artist
Marty Friedman Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
David Ellefson Bass Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Nick Menza Drums,Background Vocals,Group Member
Dave Mustaine Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Technical CreditsMarty Friedman Composer
Jeff Balding Engineer
David Ellefson Composer
Brian Howe Composer
Dann Huff Producer,Audio Production
Nick Menza Composer
Dave Mustaine Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Hugh Syme Art Direction,Illustrations
Ralph Patlan Engineer
Michael Muller Artwork
Shannon Ward Art Direction
Bo Caldwell Artwork
Kevin Lefebvre Artwork
Dave McRobb Artwork
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Cryptic Writings based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
When I first heard this album when it was released, I was still stuck with the YOUTHNASIA fever that this one just did not cut it. I did not hate it, but it weasn't as impressive as the old other great MEGADETH album I grew up on. For the first time in my life, I ignored that Megadeth even released the album and stuck to listening Youthanasia and Countdown to Extinction. RISK came out after two years and I couldn't believe my ears. These were the same old guys, but going through a whole renovation in their music style. To the better, might I add. With Risk I had time to reexplore their older albums and try to compare. Cryptic Writings came into as one of the features that I came back to and was amazed. i could not understand why I let such a great album go like this. This was truly a testimony to the direction they were taking and their premiere musicship. It could be that I was going through withdrawal symptoms and too much Metallica with their Load and Re-Load releases that hitting it back with Megadeth after such a long time was something fresh. I admit, this album is nothing like their old material. It's very much different and very much going through the changes that all heavy metal are going through these days. Some of the songs are downright heavy, like She-Wolf and The Disintegrators while others are pure melody like Almost Honest, Trust and Secret Place. The guitar riffs are much finely produced and follow a distinct rhythm that doesn't take the listener by surprise as they used to in their RUST IN PEACE album. Dave Mustaine does a fine job in conducting his band toward music perfection and Marty Friedman goes to it all through his guitars (you'd love him even more if you purchase Cryptic Sounds in which Marty's guitars take over Dave's vocals). David Ellefson also does a fine job with his bass strings though his high point album is without a doubt, RISK. This album also marks the greatest loss of Megadeth being Nick Menza's last album with the band. He made listening to his drums fun and was comparable to Lars Ulrich of Metallica. His substitute in RIS, Jimmy DeGrasso, completely fails to bring out a great debut, but all Deth fans are patient for what the new meat's works in future albums. Cryptic Writings is an excellent album if you put it with Risk and try not to compare it with the older works. Megadeth are at the top of their game and they truly can take Metallica down for the count (remember Dave, an ex-Metallicat used to play lead guitar, making Megadeth have the best guitars in the industry). Though we're all going to miss Nick, this album is even greater proof of his talent.
Megadeth really topped themselves with Cryptic Writings. Granted, it's a lot softer than Peace Sells, Rust in Peace, and Youthanasia, but everything you'd expect from Megadeth is there; top-notch musicianship, as well as intelligent and meaningful songwriting. There isn't a bad track of this record and I give it my highest recommendation.
An amazingly inventive and well produced album. It ain't as heavy as the older stuff granted, but I thing you can really see that the guys have matured in song writing and playing. There are fantastic melodies aswell as sections just to bang ur head too. My favourite tracj has to be the awesome vortex.
It is very good to see that Megadeth can do differnt kind of Music. Cryptic Writings offeres relaxing, not so heavy metal. It is more rock than metal. Guitars are well and vocals are good too. Dave Mustaine seems to enjoy singing. Lyrics are very interesting. Use the Man and I'll Get Even offer more like voodoo-thing.