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One Man's Struggle With the English Language

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Album Review

Blending noise rock and metalcore with occasional traces of death metal/black metal, One Man's Struggle with the English Language is one of those albums that thrives on sensory assault for the sake of sensory assault. Quell definitely knows how to go for the jugular — and when they blast the listener with chaotic outbursts of dissonant noise, they aren't the least bit subtle about it. When Quell is violent, they're really violent; when Quell decides to beat, kick, stomp, and pummel the listener into submission, they go out of their way to show how noisy and abrasive they can be. But this 2005 release isn't violent and ferocious 100-percent of the time; Quell changes tempos frequently, and violent outbursts are likely to be followed by passages that are moody and eerie rather than harsh. They fluctuate between skull-crushing confrontation and dark moodiness quite a bit, making One Man's Struggle with the English Language a highly schizophrenic album — and that schizophrenia is a big part of the fun, at least if one has a taste for the extreme. Quell are, in their own way, every bit as chaotic as a free jazz combo — like Cecil Taylor, Charles Gayle, or post-1965 John Coltrane, these North Carolina residents push the sonic limits and do so without apology. Of course, bands as extreme as Quell are not for everyone; this type of noise rock/metalcore blend is very much an acquired taste. But for those who do have an appreciation of the extreme and are open to the possibility of maximum sensory assault, One Man's Struggle with the English Language is worth checking out.

One Man's Struggle With the English Language, Quell
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