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Savatage The Dungeons Are Calling album cover
3.21 | 41 ratings | 8 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Dungeons Are Calling (4:53)
2. By the Grace of the Witch (3:13)
3. Visions (3:01)
4. Midas Knight (4:21)
5. City Beneath the Surface (5:49)
6. The Whip (3:27)

Total Time 24:44

The following tracks are added on the re-release (1994):
7. Fighting for Your Love (3:20)
8. Sirens (live) (3:21)
The following tracks are added on the Silver Anniversary editions (2002):
7. Metalhead (demo)
8. Before I Hang (demo)
9. Stranger in the Dark (demo)
99. hidden track

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Oliva / vocals, piano
- Criss Oliva / all guitars, backing vocals
- Keith Collins / bass, backing vocals
- Steve Wacholz / drums & percussion

Releases information

Music for nations MFN42

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy SAVATAGE The Dungeons Are Calling Music

SAVATAGE The Dungeons Are Calling ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (46%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SAVATAGE The Dungeons Are Calling reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marc Baum
4 stars [Note: I will be reviewing the "Silver Edition" re-release which includes three bonus tracks]

This is a pretty great power metal mini album if you ask me. It's not nearly as important as "Sirens", or indeed any of their 80's output with the exception of oddity "Fight For the Rock". And it's pretty damn short, which is forgivable since it's an EP st00pid (he says to himself in a chiding tone).

It's not quite "All Killer, No Filler", but it's close. Opener "The Dungeons Are Calling" fades in with some charmingly cheesy effects before knocking the doors down with a chunky slice of riffage. Jon Oliva sounds positively demonic, and the band is as tight a unit as it ever got. Obviously one compares this to the other title tracks, often the best tracks on their respective albums, and unfortunately it can't top "Hall of the Mountain King", "Sirens", and horror of horrors, "Power of the Night" and "Gutter Ballet". But it does holds it's own.

Next up is one of my all time favourite Savatage songs, "By the Grace of the Witch". Blessed with some stellar axework, chugging bass, and walloping drums, you can tell it's a classic immediately. It's also a humourously confusing track for me. Although Jon is enunciating perfectly with no distortion, I always got the lyrics wrong, especially before I heard the title. I thought it was “Do you feel your passion/Embrace of the witch!” for the longest time. Curse the booklet for having no lyrics! Anyway, Jon Oliva is at his absolute finest here. Excellent high notes, some nice gruff growls, and also some good backing vocals by the rest of the group. Scarily catchy.

“Visions” is one of the most metal songs ever, with your standard ‘burn in hell’ imagery and crazed vocals. Also some brilliant solo’s. You don’t want this one to end. Interesting keyboard opening and big hot slab of m/metalm/ in “Midas Knight”. Song is a bit confusing (does the knight serve King Midas, is the Midas thing a metaphor? Maybe I should go read the lyrics eh?). One of my fav amongst many Criss Oliva solo runs. Next up, we get another keyboard lead in before another mid-tempo bruiser in “City Beneath the Surface”. This album is like a state of mind, and as such the track doesn’t stand out that much. Another powerful riff, another great performance. Great, great, great. What you expect from the Savs.

And then…uh, well, this is just junk. “The Whip” is just a cheesy S&M-themed number you might expect from Bitch or something. After the grimly serious castle rock of the rest of the stuff, this just feels limp. Because it is.

I believe there’s another track on the original release, but it’s absent here, so I’ll just hop over to the bonus tracks. These ones sound like they’re from earlier demo’s. The production is crap, but the songs are good. “Metalhead” is an interesting take on the usual anthem, lyrically and mostly because of the bands handling of it. Most bands would make this kind of thing a joyous or at least exuberant deal, but the Savs play it straight and make it a nice roiling anthem against conformity. “Before I Hang” retreads the ground of “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, and it’s very nearly as dramatic. An impassioned slow burner. Excellent stuff. “Stranger in the Dark” closes the album strong, being just as hard, just as powerful, and perhaps a bit more sensitive than the other stuff.

This re-release is a rare case of the bonus tracks equaling the original cut.

Oh, and as an extra we get a hilarious little bonus rap. Some funky bass work, but lets focus on the hilarious delivery. It’s about a bloke who always borrows without returning and does all the other dudes drugs (bastard!). Weird sound effects too. I just don’t get why they had to stick 90 tracks of silence in here. You won’t fool anyone, and most are smart enough to just hit ‘back’ on track one and skip the hassle.

The Dungeons Are Calling is for the most part on a level with Sirens and a must-have for Sava-maniacs and any power metal fan on this planet! It's not prog yet, but early Savatage is still one of my metal-faves, so I give for this classic a high recommendation to any one who is insterested in something special in early power metal. If you know more recent Savatage material like Dead Winter Dead or The Wake of Magellan, don't hesitate to take a trip back to the beginning days of this awesome band. Sirens and The Dungeons Are Calling are both excellent start points.

rating: 8.5/10 points = 86 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Review by The Crow
3 stars This EP was recorded at the same time than the debut of the band, Sirens, but it's considerated like the second album of the band. The truth is that as a disc does not work anything badly, although we will not find nor sign of progressive rock here, but the purest NWOBHM.

Here we can found great heavy songs like By The Grace of The Witch, The Dungeons are Calling or City Beneath the Surface (this last one was played live when I saw them four years ago here in Spain!). In this record you can feel the energy of a young band, but the sound isn't t the best... But at least both Sirens and The Dungeons Are Calling are better than both later albums.

Good album for heavy fans!

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Dungeons Are Calling" is an EP release by US, Florida based power/heavy metal act Savatage. The EP was released through Par Records in March 1984. It bridges the gap between the bandīs debut- and second full-length studio albums "Sirens (1983)" and "Power of the Night (1985)". The 6 tracks on the 32:02 minutes long EP were recorded during the sessions for "Sirens (1983)" but ultimately left off that album because of the limited space on vinyls. The material is from the same time period though (1979-1983) and several had appeared in the bandīs live set since 1979. So the additional text on the album sleeve which reads: "Features lost Savatage tracks", isnīt completely true, but you donīt really want to write the word "leftover/outtake" material on an album sleeve.

Thereīs not much "leftover/outtake" quality about the material on "The Dungeons Are Calling" though, as the tracks are of an equal quality to the material featured on "Sirens (1983)". Stylistically itīs traditional heavy metal played and sung by very competent musicians. Even this early on Savatage displayed great playing skills and sophisticated songwriting ideas. The rhythm section is tight, Criss Oliva has a rare tone and feel to his guitar playing, which provides the music with an extra bite and conviction, and Jon Oliva has a powerful rusty voice and a commanding delivery (and also adds some occasional piano and keyboards to the mix).

The sound production is raw and pretty well sounding for the time, and upon conclusion "The Dungeons Are Calling" is a good quality release by Savatage and for fans of "Sirens (1983)" itīs a mandatory listen. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by Warthur
3 stars This was recorded at the same sessions that yielded Savatage's debut album, Sirens, which in practice means it's much of a piece with it (especially given the fairly tight schedule they were on). It's pretty engaging, but as with Sirens we don't really get that much of what would make Savatage truly stand out coming through here; they're still rooted in NWOBHM- ish trad metal, and the power metal and progressive elements that would eventually be hallmarks of their sound are mere whispers on the wind at this stage. Not bad, but anyone with a decent range of early 1980s metal in their collection has already heard plenty of stuff like this.

Latest members reviews

2 stars After the release of their 1983 debut, Savatage were quick to follow up with this EP, 'The Dungeons Are Calling', that consists of songs that were originally recorded for 'Sirens', but left off due to time restraints. Overall the selection of tracks is good, but these are pretty much leftovers ... (read more)

Report this review (#1744552) | Posted by martindavey87 | Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Savatage in the recording sessions of their debut album "Sirens" recorded 15 songs, 9 of which appeared on that album, the other 6 tracks appeared the next year (late 1984) on this EP entitled "The Dungeons are calling". As you can expect the style and approach is exactly the same on this EP ... (read more)

Report this review (#44894) | Posted by Prosciutto | Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars i was very suprised to see savatage listed here , but what the hell who cares, savatage rank as one of the best metal bands ever.This recording , is a cross between power metal and black metal.When you play this album all you want to do ,is turn it up louder and louder,and piss the neighbo ... (read more)

Report this review (#27438) | Posted by Heidi | Monday, April 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is one of the albums that defined the us power metal genre, at least the part that is entirely different to europe's power metal wave. Savatage's history is really long and with a lot o worthy albums on their carriers, several changes and a great tragedy, but I have always considered this ... (read more)

Report this review (#27437) | Posted by V0lcaN0 | Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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