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Review: Savatage - The Dungeons Are Calling
The Dungeons Are Calling

Label: Combat Records
Year released: 1984
Duration: 24:44
Tracks: 6
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: August 22, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.58/5 (91.67%) (12 Votes)

Filling in a gap here at The Metal Crypt as Savatage's The Dungeons are Calling EP, released back in 1984, hasn't had a review before now. That's a strange omission as this is a document of a popular band at the height of their youthful energy and songwriting/performing prowess. Originally recorded in the same studio session as the songs that wound up on the band's debut (Sirens, released in 1983), it is mind-boggling that Savatage had this much killer material so early in their careers. No band before or since has come close to duplicating the blend of power and doom Savatage magically synthesized, and it is on full display on almost every cut. It is hard to pick a favorite amount the first five songs ("The Whip" is the only average track), though I will say that the opening from "The Dungeons are Calling" was on the pre-recorded opening to my college radio show for years. But really, I'd take any song here. The bottom end provided by bassist Keith Collins and drummer Steve Wacholz is thunderous, Criss Oliva has one of the more unique and arresting guitar tones in metal, not to mention some incredible skills and, of course, you have the wholly unique vocals of Jon Oliva. He is instantly recognizable and while these songs would be excellent with most singers, with Oliva, they are superlative. The Dungeons are Calling has been rereleased a multitude of times, often with a variety of bonus tracks, but you only truly need the six songs from the original release. If you have any affinity at all for Savatage or early US metal, The Dungeons are Calling is a mandatory release.

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