REVIEW: Megadeth, Cryptic Writings (Capitol)

- Simon Speichert

One of the last great metal bands, Megadeth has struck back on a pop-laden society with Cryptic Writings, their brand new album. Unlike some other band singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine was in during the early 80's (who could that be?), Megadeth's latest offering is pure, solid, heavy metal. It's hard to explain how the band sound, because not every song is fast and saturated with tons of distorted guitars.

I like the fact that every band member gets their time in Mustaine's spotlight (not that he hogs it). For drummer Nick Menza, it's the throbbing tom beats at the beginnings of "Trust" and "Sin". Dave Ellefson's bass grabs your ear at the start of "Mastermind", and lead guitarist Marty Friedman gets the attention every time there's a solo.

Megadeth is portrayed solely as a metal band, and that's what they are, but some of the songs on Cryptic Writings show their fantastic skills at writing all kinds of tunes, including some slower ones with string arrangements. Some of the real enigmatic songs include "Trust", "Use The Man", "I'll Get Even", and "FFF".

Taking into account everything I've said here, I believe Megadeth is a very open-minded, versatile band with a rock hard edge, and Cryptic Writings will prove to be one of the best metal records of 1997.

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