MODERN POWER METAL: Death Dealer Union, led by enigmatic Infected Rain frontwoman Lena Scissorhands, presents a modern take on power metal, combining elements of the vaunted genre with bits and pieces from melodic death, symphonic, and traditional heavy metal, on their latest release Initiation. If you’re in the market for massive guitars, tour de force vocals, mountainous melodies, and the like, you’ll find all of that, and more, in spades, here.

That sonic slurry hits like a veritable sledgehammer right out of the gates on “The Vow of Silence,” a powerhouse track that finds Scissorhands deftly traversing razor-sharp riffing and soaring hooks with crushing screams and melodic refrains. “Ill Fated” has a definite 80s retro vibe to it, “Ekphrasis” finds Scissorhands returning to her dynamic form with more devastating verses and melodic choruses. “The Integument” allows her to flex a bit of her vocal muscle, showcasing her melodic prowess throughout the track (don’t miss the guitar solo at about the 2:20 mark). “Mythos” is perhaps Initiation’s strongest entry, with guitarists Hunter Havokk and Doug Weiand leading the way with chunky riffs and stunning solos. “Back to Me” is another album highlight with memorable hooks, stirring leads, and yet another dazzling vocal performance from Scissorhands, something that has become a running theme throughout Initiation. “The Downfall” is pure badassery on display with devastating bars from Scissorhands, memorable hooks, and even a breakdown or two. Scissorhands once again leads the charge on quasi-ballad “Love Me When I’m Ugly,” doing what she does best with a microphone in hand, and closing track “Beyond Heaven” puts a tidy bow on Initiation with driving riffs, anthemic grooves, and one last brilliant vocal delivery from Scissorhands, just for good measure. 

Initiation is a solid record from start to finish, an easy listen that should aurally satiate fans of most types of metal. ~ Brian Campbell

Check out our interview with drummer CC McKenna in the new issue OUTBURN #104