Review Summary: Raw, but quite a bit different than what you'd expect.
Originality and Deathcore are two words that usually are not compatible with each other. Trying to find an original band by sifting through the monotonous, breakdown-laden junk that makes up 90% of the Deathcore scene is not the most enviable of tasks. So when I came across "Jack The Giant Killer" on one of my music-searching expeditions on YouTube, I was positive it was going to be an unimpressive breakdown-fest with nothing new to offer. I was very happy to be wrong.
The opening track, "Yeah, I fight Sharks for Charity", (The band does not stray from ridiculous song names, another staple of Deathcore), starts out with a chorus singing a dramatic tone. It pulls you off track as you expect a generic breakdown to follow. Instead, low growls followed by intense highs from the lead vocalist and a technical guitar riff by both guitarists make for an impressive beginning.
Throughout the song, the lead vocalist alternates between a mid-low scream and a very high shriek that is very impressive. The guitarists dual on riffs that go from textbook to technical very quickly, while the drummer, who is near perfect, places substantial fills throughout. The bassist can barely be heard, but listen for him when the drums stop for some bass drops. The song ends with a large breakdown, the only one in the song. This is striking because they stray away from conventional Deathcore into a more Technical Death Metal sound in the song. Merging the two, this is Technical Deathcore at its finest.
The next two songs follow in the footsteps of the first. "Jawsome" starts out slow, but picks up speed midway and finishes with technical riffs and solid double bass fills. It's almost like the first song, but in reverse. "Gwen Conliffe Taught Me A Thing Or Two" picks up where "Jawsome" left off, but later slows down and builds into a striking guitar solo (Yes, a guitar solo in Deathcore!) All three songs are impressive in their own way, and all three songs showcase the band members' skills in bunches.
There are a few things that hold this album back however. The length of the album is quite short, only 12 minutes long. I realize it's a demo, but they could have added a couple of more songs to it. The songwriting isn't the greatest either, especially on "Jawsome", with the almost childish mantra "When I say Vampire, I Mean Whore" being repeated in the form of gang vocals, which are always bad in Deathcore, for over a minute. Fortunately that's something the band can work on as they mature. The production is raw, but good enough to where it's listenable.
All in all "A Dead Mans Demo" is a decent album that attempts and succeeds at being original. I can only hope that Jack The Giant Killer releases another, decently larger, album sometime in the future.