Savatage - The Dungeons Are Calling
Metal Blade
Heavy Metal
6 songs (24:54)
Release year: 1984
Savatage, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

After Sirens, Savatage continued in the same vein of heavy metal with another fantasy inspired title The Dungeons Are Calling. I really enjoy this type of metal from the 80s and Savatage quickly became one of my favorite bands from this era. This is a very short album - only 6 tracks and under half an hour, but the whole album is centered on pure, heavy energy.

The first song is the title track, as it was with the previous album, and starts off with some atmospheric acoustic guitar work and clean vocals from Jon Oliva. Then the drums pound in with the unmistakable riffs from Criss Oliva that slice forward with a quick stop and go pace. By The Grace Of The Witch continues the same power with some added catchiness thanks to the riffs of Oliva. The anthemic chorus is heavy and memorable with the unmistakable vocals of Oliva, followed by some excellent guitar solo work. This is a song that is difficult not to sing along to. Visions picks up right where it leaves off, though slows the sound down a little bit. The production does sound a bit thin at times, perhaps because the lower end seems to be a bit overemphasized in this release. Midas Knight comes in with some more melodic guitar work, reminding me a lot of the song Sirens from the previous album with mid-paced guitars interspersed with quick little guitar runs and high pitched singing. The drumming of Steve Wacholz also really shines in this song, complementing the guitar riffs perfectly. City Beneath The Surface is the longest track on the album at just under 6 minutes and it presents a very well thought-out song structure that incorporates both the heavy catchiness that Savatage are know for and some more atmospheric elements that give the song an almost mystical quality. Oliva's guitar work in this track is also just excellent, with a real face melting solo. The Whip comes right back in with that great quick heavy metal riffing that works so well in this album; this song in particular reminds me of some Judas Priest work from the 70s and ends the album on an upbeat note.

This second album from Savatage sees the band once again crafting an album that flows together very nicely, yet has songs that sound very distinct and memorable in their own ways. The only real complaint I have is the length of the album, which is very short and I feel like I'm really not ready for it to end. However it is short and sweet. While I did enjoy Sirens a little more, that is more of a personal preference for the heavier songs on that album, and the killer title track, than a reflection on the skill of the band. This album further proved the abilities of Savatage to write killer heavy metal songs that just do not get old.

Killing Songs :
By The Grace Of The Witch, Midas Knight, City Beneath The Surface
Khelek quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Savatage that we have reviewed:
Savatage - Gutter Ballet reviewed by Khelek and quoted 85 / 100
Savatage - Fight For The Rock reviewed by Khelek and quoted 68 / 100
Savatage - Power Of The Night reviewed by Khelek and quoted 92 / 100
Savatage - Sirens reviewed by Khelek and quoted 90 / 100
Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King reviewed by Brent and quoted Classic
To see all 7 reviews click here
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