Cryptic Writings (Remastered)
Cryptic Writings strikes a balance between Megadeth’s brand of thrash-metal classicism and the alt-rock influences of the late '90s. Striking an easy mid-tempo groove and sparked by a sneering hook and a groaning guitar solo, “Trust” is a perfect introduction to the album. By Megadeth standards much of the album moves at a leisurely pace, though “Sin” and “A Secret Place” proved that the band could still deliver disturbing jolts at a steady-rolling tempo. Things kick into high gear with “The Disintegrators” and “FFF,” two roiling pieces of thrash reminiscent of Megadeth’s early years. The unusual sonic textures of “Use the Man” and “I’ll Get Even” show the band’s willingness to grow beyond their thrash template, though both these songs are lacking the spark of the throttling “She-Wolf” and “Vortex,” which aim for the throat and refuse to let go. Despite some missteps, Cryptic Writings establishes Megdeth as one of the few Eighties metal figureheads able to adapt and absorb the sea change of '90s alternative rock.