Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Adrien Begrand
PopMatters Contributing Editor

Adrien Begrand has been writing for PopMatters since 2002, and has been writing his monthly metal column Blood & Thunder since 2005. His writing has also appeared in Metal Edge, Sick Sounds, Metallian, graphic novelist Joel Orff’s Strum and Drang: Great Moments in Rock ‘n’ RollKnoxville Voice, The Kerouac Quarterly, JackMagazine.com, StylusMagazine.com, and StaticMultimedia.com. A contributing writer for Decibel, Terrorizer, and Dominion magazines and senior writer for Hellbound, he resides, blogs, and does the Twitter thing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Features

Sunday, May 16 2010

A Light in the Black: Ronnie James Dio, 1942-2010

In a genre that loves its iconic figures, Ronnie James Dio was one of the biggest. Sadly, one of metal's ageless wonders proved to be mortal after all.


Tuesday, December 16 2008

The Best Metal Albums of 2008

It was a stellar year for metal, and an eclectic year, too: Norweigian prog-metal, goth-infused death metal, Swedish thrash, black metal, and stoner rock all make the list.


Wednesday, August 27 2008

To Hell and Back: Black Sabbath's Dio Years

Ronnie James Dio's original three-year sojourn with Black Sabbath was mercurial, but it completely transformed and re-energized the band.


Wednesday, April 30 2008

Fun & Games: Killing Joke in the mid-'80s

Though lumped in with post-punk acts, Killing Joke were considerably less edgy than their peers, their blunt, pulverizing music echoing the rage and cynicism expressed in the songs making them somewhat of an anomaly.


Sunday, March 2 2008

By:Larm 2008: Pining For the Fjords

PopMatters surveys the smorgasbord of Scandinavian pop, metal and everything in between at the by:Larm Festival in Oslo, Norway. Great music, splendid weather, $12 beers and lots of hot dogs later, we emerge already looking forward to next year.


Columns

Monday, August 1 2011

Born Again, Again

Critically panned 28 years ago, Black Sabbath's bizarre 11th album, Born Again, has gone on to earn a cult following of its own.


Sunday, June 12 2011

To Hell and Back: An Interview With Andy Sneap of Hell

Obscure New Wave of British Heavy Metal band Hell has made the unlikeliest of comebacks thanks to its biggest fan, who just so happens to be one of the most famous metal producers in the world.


Wednesday, May 4 2011

Once More Unto the Breach: What Do People See in Sabaton?

Sabaton's strange combination of metal style (power), subject matter (depictions of real war events), image (everyone clad in snow camouflage), and stage presence (goofily jumping around like they're Kiss without make-up), was just too much to bear.


Tuesday, March 22 2011

Ruling the Ruins: Doro Pesch and Warlock Revisited

Warlock was never a musically innovative band, but thanks to legendary singer Doro Pesch, their impact on metal history is indelible.


Sunday, February 27 2011

Something 2 Grind 2: An Interview with Graf Orlock

Constructed around loads of ingeniously-timed movie samples, Graf Orlock's music is some of the most fun grindcore you'll ever hear, psychotic and chaotic yet insidiously catchy, but the first impression is always unforgettable, thanks to their artwork.


Doggamn! [24.Aug.10]
Def and Twisted [28.Jul.09]
Compelled to Slay [10.Feb.09]
Workingman's Death [15.Sep.08]
Many Happy Returns [10.Sep.07]
Postmortem [14.Aug.06]
Complex Simplicity [12.Jul.06]
Sweet Relief [26.Jan.06]
Forever Undying [27.Nov.05]
Regeneration [13.Oct.05]

Reviews

Thursday, January 23 2014

P!nk: 15 January 2014 - Saskatoon

The flamboyant yet grounded P!nk inspires a capacity crowd on the final leg of her year-long world tour.


Thursday, November 14 2013

Slayer - 5 November, Saskatoon, SK

When faced with the task of restoring one's credibility, cranking out the old stuff always works.


Wednesday, November 6 2013

Dixie Chicks: 3 November, Saskatoon, SK

A recent stop on the trio's reunion tour yielded a streamlined, subtly triumphant show.


Thursday, March 21 2013

Heart: 14 March 2013 - Saskatoon, SK

The soon-to-be Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductees show why they deserve the recognition with a stellar career-spanning set


Monday, August 1 2011

Graveyard: Hisingen Blues

The Swedish retro-rockers return with a an assured, surprisingly nuanced second album.


Obscura: Omnivium [17.Apr.11]
TesseracT: One [28.Mar.11]
Salome: Terminal [15.Nov.10]
Zoroaster: Matador [16.Aug.10]
Soulfly: Omen [3.Jun.10]
Ratt: Infestation [22.Apr.10]
Eloy: Visionary [17.Feb.10]
Meshuggah: Alive [11.Feb.10]
AC/DC: Backtracks [19.Nov.09]
Megadeth: Endgame [14.Sep.09]
Voivod: Infini [8.Jul.09]
Cobalt: Gin [16.Mar.09]
Lamb of God: Wrath [23.Feb.09]
Guapo: Elixirs [26.Oct.08]
Soulfly: Conquer [25.Aug.08]
Opeth: Watershed [4.Jun.08]
Jesu: Lifeline [13.Jan.08]
Portal: Outré [25.Oct.07]
Plastiscines: LP1 [25.Sep.07]
Waking Up Dead [29.Aug.07]
Turbonegro: Retox [13.Aug.07]
Caïna: Mourner [23.Jul.07]
The Best of Atreyu [25.Jun.07]
Dungen: Tio Bitar [15.May.07]
Jesu: Conqueror [14.Mar.07]
Meshuggah: Nothing [22.Feb.07]
Totimoshi: Ladrón [11.Jan.07]
Danava: Danava [3.Dec.06]
OSI: Free [27.Sep.06]
Godsmack: IV [7.Aug.06]
Korn: Live & Rare [18.Jul.06]
Enslaved: Ruun [5.Jul.06]
Yakuza: Samsara [18.May.06]
Rammer: Cancer [3.May.06]
Faktion: Faktion [26.Apr.06]
Edguy: Rocket Ride [17.Apr.06]
Amorphis: Eclipse [30.Mar.06]
The Ocean: Aeolian [23.Mar.06]
Burst: Origo [21.Feb.06]
Can: Can DVD [14.Feb.06]
Stryper: Reborn [28.Sep.05]
Torche: Torche [12.Jul.05]
Xiu Xiu: La Foret [10.Jul.05]
Coldplay: X & Y [5.Jun.05]
Guapo: Black Oni [27.Apr.05]
Athlete: Tourist [18.Apr.05]
Ash: Meltdown [9.Mar.05]
Doves: Some Cities [28.Feb.05]
M.I.A.: Arular [17.Feb.05]
Behemoth: Demigod [14.Feb.05]
Dälek: Absence [7.Feb.05]
Cursed: Two [7.Feb.05]
Meshuggah: I [28.Oct.04]
Garage Days (2004) [22.Aug.04]
Björk: Post Live [12.Jul.04]
Atreyu: The Curse [11.Jul.04]
The Pixies [20.Apr.04]
Soulfly: Prophecy [29.Mar.04]
Grandaddy: Sumday [26.Jun.03]
Lamb: What Sound [19.Jun.03]
Four Tet: Rounds [2.Jun.03]
Echoboy: Giraffe [26.Mar.03]
The D4: 6Twenty [24.Mar.03]
Fischerspooner: #1 [13.Mar.03]
Doro: Fight [26.Jan.03]
Pulp: Hits [12.Jan.03]
Cribabi: Volume [17.Dec.02]
Rubyhorse: Rise [21.Oct.02]
Halford: Crucible [12.Sep.02]
Soulfly: 3 [20.Aug.02]

Blogs

Wednesday, July 16 2014

Metal Gods: The 15 Best Judas Priest Songs

Hot on the heels of the iconic metal group's new album Redeemer of Souls, Sound Affects combs through Priest's vast and astounding back catalog to round up its greatest tracks.


Wednesday, April 17 2013

10 Songs That Will Make You Love Rush

On the eve of the long-lived Canadian trio's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Sound Affects attempts to coerce newbies into the vast, rewarding, fun, and often beautiful Rush back catalog with this selection of songs.


Wednesday, April 17 2013

10 Songs That Will Make You Love Rush (Spotify Playlist)

On the eve of the long-lived Canadian trio's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Sound Affects attempts to coerce newbies into the vast, rewarding, fun, and often beautiful Rush back catalog with this selection of songs. READ MORE.


Tuesday, December 13 2011

Bubbling Under the 75 Best Albums of 2011: Opeth

This week we presented our Best 75 Albums of 2011. Here are several more just bubbling under the top 75...


Thursday, October 7 2010

The Top 100 Canadian Singles, by Bob Mersereau

Mersereau's likeable follow-up to The Top 100 Canadian Albums is another portrait of Canadian pop culture that's as eccentric as it is argument-instigating.


AC/DC - Backtracks (Consuming Consumables) [23.Nov.09]
Learn to Speak Music, by John Crossingham (Sound Affects) [27.Oct.09]
"Ignorant bliss, impending doom..." (Sound Affects) [10.Jun.09]
Top 5 Videos of 2008: Adrien Begrand (Mixed Media) [24.Nov.08]
Sure, it's fun and all, but dude...male dancers? (Notes from the Road) [23.Feb.08]
12 bucks for beer?! Are you nuts? (Notes from the Road) [21.Feb.08]
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