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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,,, and 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.


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.


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]


Monday, March 16 2015

Nickelback's 'No Fixed Address' Tour Clearly Doesn't Give a Damn

On their latest tour Nickelback’s shtick rings hollower than usual -- and for this band, that’s saying something.

Wednesday, October 15 2014

Pixies May Have Changed, But Their Energy Is Still Strong

The revamped Pixies prove there's plenty of fuel left in the tank yet.

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.

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]
Cursed: Two [7.Feb.05]
Dälek: Absence [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]


Thursday, March 26 2015

Blood and Thunder: Turning Ashes to Gold

This week's best metal release finds some musical innovators from Brooklyn up to their philosophical shenanigans once again.

Thursday, March 19 2015

Blood and Thunder: Rampaging Storms of Power

This week in metal features legendaries killing it on the live circuit and a surprising debut from the oft-forgotten world of speed metal.

Thursday, March 12 2015

Blood and Thunder: Ready to Explode

An essential Judas Priest reissue reminds us that when it comes to metal, they really don't play it like they used to.

Thursday, March 5 2015

Blood and Thunder: Power, Rage Unbound

This week in metal brought a much needed injection of creativity into black metal and the 30th anniversary of a classic yet underrated metal album.

Thursday, February 26 2015

Blood and Thunder: Violent Show of Power

Album anniversaries of the music of Led Zeppelin and Slayer highlight this week in metal: one is a sprawling double album epic, the other a stepping stone for one of metal's most important bands.

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