Matlab's powerful, but it's an amazingly slow scripting language for many things due to the overhead of its flexibility.
Which is why I just think Rayden sucks at Python. He probably wasn't using things like the array module or the numpy module which exist exactly for problems like this
And hey, look at this. Matlab is roughly the same speed as Python + numpy (with the nod going to python as things like Psycho will push it past matlib in terms of speed, and it can be optimized to greater effect) http://lbolla.wordpress.com/2007/04/11/numerical-computing-matlab-vs-pythonnumpyweave/
That pretty much narrows it down to rayden sucking at python