Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2020, Bought for son for Christmas, no complaints from him. Now to put this in a nutshell: Cryptic Writings is pretty bad, and one of the lower ends of the ‘Deth catalogue, but it’s not as bad as the next album I must say. There are some catchy tunes and even some good thrashers on it but the good qualities couldn't override mediocrity. “FFF” is pretty much a politicized version of “Motor Breath”, it's difficult to grasp the point Dave is trying to make here, but the song cooks quite well. Megadeth's 1990s outputs, for the most part, seem to be less controversial and spat upon than those of Metallica, save maybe for "Metallica" in some cases. Infact most of this album rarely does reach a "breakneck" speed, "The Disintegrators" and "FFF" are both pretty fast offerings, and "She-Wolf" waters down the intro to Metallica's thrash "Disposable Heroes" and puts down a very catchy heavy metal song. So while most of these songs are heavily rooted within hard rock and pop, blues seems to make a huge impact on the overall sound as well. Good songs are scattered around as if distributed by a grenade: a random assortment of body parts doesn’t quite make up a coherent whole, while embedded shrapnel proves difficult to extricate from the blast zone. Like the Black Album, it contains several tracks, which if released as a mini-song compilation, would have made a killer EP. Following the release of their small album Hidden Treasures, which was followed by Youthnasia, Megadeth released Cryptic Writings. Megadeth fans may disagree and claim that Cryptic Writings is an ambitious opus, but for me it is an album that confirms the death of the so-called Big Four, with Slayer in some type of conflicting limbo, Metallica selling out years ago, and Anthrax opting for a more layered approach. It's not their best album, no. In a seemingly deliberate reaffirmation of Megadeth’s political edge after all the wussy stuff, the band unwisely start the final third of the album with the mostly irritating ‘Have Cool, Will Travel.’ As the stupid title suggests, this is something of an unusual song, featuring harmonica and piano sections, but is primarily a very tired sounding blend of knock-off Sabbath riffs and unimaginative ‘nothing’s getting done’ and ‘point the finger’ accusations. Songs that express doubt or longing – anything except themes of anger, angst, and general self-righteousness basically – come off as half-hearted, ponderous, and meandering, ‘Use the Man’ and the flabby ‘I’ll Get Even’ proving the worst cases. By now most reviewers have probably discovered that Cryptic Writings, when released, was a far cry from anything this band has produced beforehand. Unlike in the early to late 80s where pure, undistilled rage and despair fueled songs like "Set the World Afire" and "In My Darkest Hour", the decade of political correctness saw Dave merely pandering to the whiny attitude of suburban slackers and Ivy League college kids. It's a nice breath of air from the old days. What you get in Cryptic Writings is twelve songs divided into three categories. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. I liked this album the first few times I heard it, but the more I listened to it, the more I realized how boring it was. The few breaks that come out of nowhere can’t save them. The metal attitude remained a driving force in their songwriting. Sadly, it’s time for another piece of filler, this time with a second-rate replica of ‘Trust’ that I keep expecting to descend back into that opening riff of the album. Impressive! Mustaine continues to use the same vocal delivery as ‘I’ll Get Even,’ interspersing spoken word between guitar chords, but it sounds a lot more formulaic this time around. Bud Pager deemed some too explicit to make this a hit [I have the reissue version with some of the aborted tracks included, and several are better than the released counterparts]. The riffs are somewhat similar in that they sound quite poppy. The rest of the songs tend to range from boring to very boring - the songwriting definitely drops several notches, and sometimes reeks of late 90s post-grunge modern rock. What you hear is what you get. Praise where it’s due though, because the songs I prefer from Cryptic Writings are those where a balance is found between the accessible style and Mustaine’s confidence. Iron Maiden's Fear of the fastest songs since the RIP days been at least as bad as Load speedy,. The likening to hard rock rather than metal, and Will make you ``... 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