Symptom of the Universe (song)

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"Symptom of the Universe"
Single by Black Sabbath
from the album Sabotage
A-side"Hard Road"
ReleasedJuly 28, 1975 (Album)
October 1978 (Single)
RecordedEarly 1975 at Morgan Studios in London, England, UK
GenreHeavy metal
Length6:29
LabelVertigo (UK)
Warner Bros. (US)
Songwriter(s)

"Symptom of the Universe" is a song by the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, from their 1975 album Sabotage. The song was an early influence on the development of thrash metal.

Overview[edit]

"Symptom of the Universe" was composed largely by guitarist Tony Iommi, with lyrics by Geezer Butler. Its closing passage, very unlike the rest of the song, evolved from an in-studio jam, created spontaneously in a single day.[1]

Live versions can be heard on the albums Past Lives, Cross Purposes Live and Live... Gathered in Their Masses,[2] as well as the Never Say Die! concert video.[3] It is also the opening track on Ozzy Osbourne's 1982 live album, Speak of the Devil.

The song is featured in the video games Skate 2 and Brütal Legend.[citation needed]

Musical style[edit]

The main riff to "Symptom of the Universe" is considered to be a structural and sonic predecessor to thrash metal,[4] a heavy metal subgenre which emerged in the early 1980s. Tony Iommi said of the song "It starts with an acoustic bit. Then it goes into the up-tempo stuff to give it that dynamic, and it does have a lot of changes to it, including the jam at the end."[5]

Notable covers[edit]

  • In 1994, Brazilian band Sepultura recorded a cover of the song for the Black Sabbath tribute album Nativity in Black. That recording was later included in the 1997 compilation album Blood-Rooted.
  • The song has also been covered by Helmet, notably in The Jerky Boys: The Movie, in which they are featured as the club band with Ozzy Osbourne guest-starring as their manager.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Iommi, Tony (2011). Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-30681-9551.
  2. ^ "Cross Purposes Live (Album) – Black Sabbath –". Last.fm. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  3. ^ "Black Sabbath: Never Say Die". Sanctuary Records Group. Archived from the original on 2006-09-29.
  4. ^ Rakhmanin, Vladimir (September 22, 2012). "Thrash Metal – An Introduction". University Times Magazine. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  5. ^ Iommi, Tony (2012). Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Simon & Schuster. p. 146. ISBN 0306822318.

External links[edit]