DEATH DEALER UNION - Initiation album cover
  • 6.6/10
    DEATH DEALER UNION - Initiation - 6.6/10


Label: Napalm Records
Release date: September 9, 2023

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Death Dealer Union’s latest offering, Initiation is a great addition to the Heavy Metal world and I expect to see this album getting some rotation on many radio stations.

The very first track, “Initiation” is an instrumental song, that is very deceptive as to how the rest of the album is going to go. Very mellow tones and a soft of softness that lulls you in. It quickly blends into the next song, “The Vow of Silence,” which hits you with a steady and fast guitar coupled with Elena Cataraga’s vocals. She hits those perfect melodies and turns right around and belts you with a deep growl: grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. The guitars are razor-sharp, the drums thunderous, and the vocals, delivered with raw intensity, make for controlled chaos in a record. It’s a powerful opening statement that immediately hooks the listener.

One of the standout tracks on the album is “The Big Blue,” which perfectly encapsulates the essence of Death Dealer Union’s sound. The riffs are intricate and menacing, the guitars are relentless, and the lyrics delve into dark and gritty themes that are a hallmark of the band. It’s a song that demands repeat listening and is sure to become a fan favorite.

Throughout Initiation, the band showcases their musical versatility. Tracks like “The Vow of Silence” and “Mythos” incorporate elements of traditional Heavy Metal, adding depth and variety to the album. “The Vow of Silence” is more of an upbeat song, yet it still manages to mix well with the aggressive vocals.

The musicianship on Initiation is top-notch. The guitar work by lead guitarist Doug Weiand and rhythm guitarist Hunter Havokk is something to listen to. They accentuate each other’s playing style very well, while CC McKenna on the drums helps keep the tempo of this album moving along at a fast pace.


In conclusion, Death Dealer Union’s Initiation is a must listen if you are a fan of Heavy or Thrash Metal. It’s an album that has a lot of variety to it. With Elena’s vocal range, both guttural and clean, pounding drums, and fast guitars, Initiation has something for everyone.

Band Lineup

CC McKenna – Drums
Doug Weiand – Lead Guitars
Jonny Heinz – Bass
Elena Cataraga – Vocals
Hunter Havokk – Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Bass


  1. Initiation
  2. The Vow of Silence
  3. Ill Fated
  4. Ekphrasis
  5. The Integument
  6. Mythos
  7. The Big Blue
  8. Back to Me
  9. The Downfall
  10. Love Me When I’m Ugly
  11. Anew
  12. Beyond Heaven


  • Jon Harvey

    Jon is a reviewer at Metal Express Radio and is currently living in Wisconsin, USA. The first thing that made Jon fall in love with Metal goes all the way back to the glory days of MTV actually playing music. Alice in Chains, "Man in the Box" came on and the channel was automatically banned by family. It sparked a curiosity for the music instead of turning him away from it. Things only progressed from there. Suicidal Tendencies, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, all the heavier stuff from the late '80s and early '90s were always in rotation. Aside from loving all things Metal, Jon also runs a skateshop in his hometown and is trying to get the scene stronger than ever.

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