Avenged Sevenfold – “Beast and the Harlot” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Avenged Sevenfold’s “Beast and the Harlot” is a vivid narrative, intertwining biblical imagery with a modern tale of corruption and downfall. The song reflects on the fall of a metaphorical Babylon – a symbol of decadence and moral decay. The lyrics paint a picture of a city lost in its excess, with references to a “seven-headed beast” and a “harlot,” drawing heavily from the Book of Revelation. It’s a cautionary tale, warning against the seduction of vice and the consequences of succumbing to it. The song is about the human tendency towards self-destructive behavior. The band crafted this song to convey a message of awareness and reflection on the consequences of our actions.

Curious about the intricate web of symbols in “Beast and the Harlot”? How do a seven-headed beast and a symbolic harlot weave into a story of downfall and caution? Keep reading to unravel the mystery!


“Beast and the Harlot” Lyrics Meaning

“Beast and the Harlot” by Avenged Sevenfold is a masterful blend of biblical allegory and hard-hitting rock. The song begins with a description of a “shining city built of gold,” immediately setting a tone of grandeur and excess. This city, a metaphorical Babylon, is a representation of sin and corruption hidden beneath a facade of beauty and wealth.

As the lyrics unfold, they reveal a “seven-headed beast,” a reference to the Book of Revelation in the Bible. This beast symbolizes the ultimate power of evil and its influence over the city. The “symbolic woman,” or the harlot, represents the allure and temptation of sin, sitting on the throne of corruption but eventually stripped of her glory, showing the transient nature of such a lifestyle.

The chorus, “She’s a dwelling place for demons… Fallen now is Babylon the Great,” echoes the downfall of this once-glorious city. It serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of moral decay. The band uses this imagery to illustrate the downfall that comes with indulgence in vice and immorality.

Moving deeper into the song, the lyrics “Merchants and captains of the world… will weep and mourn this loss” speak to the widespread impact of the city’s fall. It’s not just the loss of a city, but the collapse of a system built on greed and sin.

The song concludes with a choice presented to the listener: serve above or reign below, highlighting the eternal struggle between good and evil, and the decisions we make that define our path.

The Story Behind “Beast and the Harlot”

The creation of “Beast and the Harlot” reflects Avenged Sevenfold’s deep interest in thematic and narrative-rich songwriting. The band, known for their intricate compositions and thought-provoking lyrics, drew inspiration for this track from the Book of Revelation. The biblical references are not just for dramatic effect; they serve to create a parallel between the ancient text and modern societal issues.

At the time of writing, the band members were observing the world around them, particularly contemporary society’s excesses and moral ambiguities. This reflection led them to draw comparisons with the biblical Babylon, a symbol of ultimate corruption and sin. The song is a product of their contemplation on the consequences of humanity’s darker tendencies and the inevitable downfall that follows unchecked decadence.

By weaving together heavy metal music with profound, allegorical lyrics, “Beast and the Harlot” stands as a testament to Avenged Sevenfold’s ability to channel complex ideas into compelling musical narratives. It’s more than just a song; it’s a reflection on our choices and their impact on our future.