Saturday, March 22, 2014

Savatage - The Dungeons Are Calling

Today (March 22nd) marks the thirtieth anniversary of The Dungeons Are Calling, an EP from the band Savatage. This 1984 release followed their debut album Sirens from a year prior (click here for that review). In 2005, Rock Hard magazine published its book The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time, and this record was ranked at number 349.

Side one opens with the title track. "The Dungeons Are Calling" reflects upon the horrors of drug addiction; the cover with the syringe and the skull further drives that point home.

"By the Grace of the Witch" is dark and diabolical.

"Visions" has an underlying drumbeat and guitar grind that reminds me of Motörhead's 1980 track "Ace of Spades".

Side two begins with "Midas Knight", a rocking ode to a relentless warrior.

The opening of "City Beneath the Surface" reminds me of my early days of video game playing. It easily took me to another place. I can see this track fitting in nicely to an animated video, like segment in a film like Heavy Metal.

The end of the EP is brought down hard and fast with "The Whip", a song with a strong sexual theme.

Later CD releases have added additional bonus tracks.

Just like last time I reviewed a Savatage album, I was totally unfamiliar with this record going in. However, also like before, the band really won me over with The Dungeons Are Calling. It is twenty-five minutes of loud, heavy and thundering metal that sounds great with the volume turned up. While this is not the type of music I like to listen to all of the time, every now and again a little head-banging can be good for the soul. Thanks again to folks on YouTube for sharing this one.

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