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"Beast and the Harlot"
Single by Avenged Sevenfold
from the album City of Evil
B-side"Burn It Down (Live In San Diego)"
ReleasedFebruary 28, 2006[1]
GenreHeavy metal[2]
Length5:41 (album version)
4:06 (Edit)
LabelWarner Bros.
Sony BMG[citation needed]
Songwriter(s)Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold singles chronology
"Bat Country"
"Beast and the Harlot"
"Seize the Day"

"Beast and the Harlot" is a song by Avenged Sevenfold, the song was released as a single taken from their third studio album City of Evil. The song peaked at #19 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart, #44 on the UK Singles Chart.,[3] and #1 on the UK Rock Chart on March 12, 2006.

The actual song is about the fall of Babylon, The Great from the Book of Revelation (particularly chapter seventeen), from which many quotes are taken, such as "Seven headed beast, ten horns raise from his head", "hatred strips her and leaves her naked", and other references.[4] The Harlot referred to in the song is Great Babylon, quoted in the song, "Fallen now is Babylon The Great." On Avenged Sevenfold's All Excess DVD, Tony Petrossian, who directed the video, says that M. Shadows' lyrics for this song about the fall of Babylon is comparing Babylon to Hollywood, showing many Hollywood clichés such as the young, innocent boys being corrupted and losing their souls. In the music video the Harlot was played by actress Elizabeth Melendez.


The song is one of the first songs recorded with singer M. Shadows' different vocal style avoiding unclean vocals as well as a more hard rock sound as opposed to their previous work, with heavy and fast riffs and a relatively normal song structure (with the exception of the guitar solo, which comes after the first chorus rather than the second, atypical of a three verse song).

The song's rapid main riff was voted as the 14th greatest riff ever by the guitar magazine Total Guitar in March 2007. Total Guitar wrote: "The main riff to Beast and the Harlot is a great piece of dropped-D riffing with Zacky and Synyster cleverly placing the second part of the riff across the beat to create an aggressive syncopated feel, once again avoiding all the usual metal clichés."

The song was featured in the soundtrack of the video games Burnout Revenge, Guitar Hero II, and Guitar Hero Smash Hits. The version in Guitar Hero II was a cover version, while Smash Hits featured the master recording. The song was also featured in The Real World Road Rules reunion. The cover art for the single of the song was done by Avenged Sevenfold's close friend Cam Rackam.

The Rock Band 3 version of the original master recording of the song being notable in that it has support for Rock Band PRO mode, which takes advantage of the use of a real guitar / bass guitar, along with standard MIDI-compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to up to three-part harmony and/or backing vocals.[5]

The song was released for Rocksmith on October 30, 2012.[6]

Track listings

Digital single[7]
  1. "Beast and the Harlot (Radio Version)" - 4:03
  2. "Burn It Down (Live in San Diego)" - 5:45
  1. "Beast and the Harlot (Edit)" - 4:06
  2. "Beast and the Harlot" - 5:42

A. "Beast and the Harlot (Edit)" - 4:06

B. "Burn It Down (Live)" - 5:45


The band drew heavily from Biblical literature, history, and old literature, including, as previously mentioned, segments of the Book of Revelation, as well as Dante's Divine Comedy of Hell. Historically, the sexually deviant queen of Babylon provided the basis for the song, as well as the recurring theme of sexual temptation in the music video.

The seven headed beast with 10 horns, which is referred to many times in the song, is the anti-Christ. Since Babylon collapsed, ("fallen now is Babylon The Great") presumably because of its moral deficiencies, it can be assumed that Dante and Shadows were correct.

The black tar which represents the departed soul in the corrupted victims in the video is derived from Dante's 5th Malebolge in Hell. The demons wreck the sinners (in that case, those who betrayed the church) with hooked spears.


Avenged Sevenfold


Region Year Publication Accolade Rank
United States 2015 Loudwire 10 Best Metal Riffs of the 2000s[9] 7


  1. ^ "FMQB Airplay Archive: Modern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  2. ^ "10 Best Metal Riffs of the 2000s". Loudwire. December 26, 2013.
  3. ^ "Avenged Sevenfold | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  4. ^ "Bible (American Standard)/Revelation - Wikisource". 2010-06-22. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  5. ^ Snider, Mike (2010-06-10). "Rock Band 3: What's New, What's Notable". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  6. ^ "Rocksmith". GameSpot. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Beast and the Harlot - Single Avenged Sevenfold" (in Spanish). Apple Inc. February 27, 2006. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  8. ^ "Beast and the Harlot - Single Avenged Sevenfold".
  9. ^ "10 Best Metal Riffs of the 2000s". Loudwire.