Disclaimer: these interpretations are those of the writer and do not reflect the intentions of the lyricist. If you would like to contribute to the conversation or offer a different point of view, feel free to comment or contact Metal Utopia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blow your trumpets Gabriel is the opening song of Behemoth’s tenth studio album, The Satanist. It’s been critically acclaimed and many see it as the band’s best album to date. It’s full of metaphors and references to the bible and, as the name suggests, Satanism, making it an interesting record to analyze. I’ve chosen to analyze the first song off the album because it’s a kick-ass opening that, both musically as well as lyrically shows what the rest of the record has in store.
I saw the Virgin’s cunt spawning forth the snake
I witnessed tribes of Judah reduced to ruin
I watched disciples twelve dissolved by flame
Looked down on son of God snuffed in vain
In the first sentence of the song, there’s two characters: the snake and the Virgin. The snake, or serpent, in biblical texts, has often been interpreted as a symbol of evil power, or chaos from the underworld. Think of the garden of Eden, where the serpent tempts Eve to eat the Forbidden Fruit. The Virgin, in contrast to the snake, is a holy character from the bible, who, after the Immaculate Conception, gives birth to Jesus. The statement that, instead of Jesus, the Virgin gave birth to a symbol of evil, is (if you don’t count the album’s title) the first sign of the Satanic view from which the album was written.
The flame that dissolved the twelve disciples might refer to the flame of Christ that his twelve apostles were to spread after the Holy Spirit descended upon them. However, from Nergal’s perspective (the band’s singer and the one who writes the majority of Behemoth’s lyrics), this flame of Christ isn’t something positive, which might explain the use of the word “dissolved”.
In the last sentence of the first verse, Nergal declares Jesus Christ’s death futile. According to the bible, Jesus has died for our sins, but Nergal denies this by saying his death was in vain. The reason the other two events are mentioned might be that Nergal would suggest that these also happened for no reason.
Blow your trumpets Gabriel!
As I beheld the bewilderment of Eden
Break the bread and crumb by crumb into the Leviathan’s den
Nations fall prey
Hail my return
The second verse starts with the song’s title, a request for Gabriel to blow his trumpets. Gabriel is an archangel who serves as God’s messenger, and even though it’s never specified that he himself blows the trumpet, the sound of his trumpet announces the Last Judgement, in which all of mankind is sent either to heaven or to hell. In combination with the second sentence, which suggests that Eden has already been decaying, it could mean that according to Nergal, it’s time for the Final Judgement to come, putting everyone in their rightful place.
Leviathan is a sea monster from Jewish belief, described as a female monster dwelling in the ocean. The other monster, a male monster who roams the lands, is called Behemoth. The bread that’s fed to the female counterpart of Behemoth is probably Jesus’ body. If we read the next two lines from the perspective of Behemoth, the land monster, it would suggest that Behemoth, the monster as well as the band, is here to reign again.
Tribe of Judah decimate
Roots of David eradicate
Let wine of Sodom fill our mouths
May sin of Gomorrah grace our hearts
Hosanna is a biblical exclamation used to express adoration, praise or joy, so in the third verse, Nergal is expressing his happiness for the destruction of the tribes of Judah and king David of Israel’s descendants (one of which was Jesus Christ). Sodom and Gomorrah were two of the “cities of the plain.” This plain was often compared to the garden of Eden, for its many plants and fertile soil. Later, the Divine Judgement by God was passed upon the two cities, after which these cities have become synonymous with impertinent sin (that’s where the word ‘sodomy’ comes from). So in the last two verses of the song, Nergal is celebrating the things that according to the bible were awful.
As we can see, Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel is a song that’s full of references to the bible and Nergal’s Satanic beliefs. He shows great knowledge of the bible, and a very strong opinion about the things described in the Holy Book. The song lays the foundation for the rest of the record, for he definitely isn’t done spreading his belief and certainly will keep doing so within the album as well as outside.
Rutger is a student from the Netherlands who, apart from his passion for the Spanish language, literature & culture, loves playing black metal and classical music.