Thanks to the Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Hole/grunge upheaval that occurred in the early '90s, so many of the metal and hard rock bands that emerged in the '80s sound very dated today. That is true of power metal bands, and it is certainly true of pop-metal hair bands. But thrash metal is another matter. Because they share grunge and post-grunge's love of punk, the bands that came out of thrash in the '80s -- Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Sepultura, Anthrax, Testament, among others -- have managed to avoid sounding overly dated by post-Nirvana, post-Nevermind standards. And similarly, Without End's Disease Is Man draws on a lot of '80s influences but still manages to be fairly relevant to the punk-drenched metal scene of the 2000s. If Disease Is Man emulated the Sunset Strip hair bands of the '80s or the old-school power metal of Grim Reaper, Savatage, King Diamond, or Helloween, Without End would sound a lot more dated. But that isn't where these headbangers are coming from; when Without End looks back on the '80s, they get their inspiration from the thrash metal of Testament, Venom, Megadeth, Sepultura, and Joey Belladonna-era Anthrax as well as early hardcore (as opposed to the newer metalcore style, which is considerably more ferocious). Clearly, Disease Is Man is the work of headbangers who live and breathe punk, and forceful tunes like "You'll Stink in the End" and "Lords of Defiance" thrive on the sort of dark, angrily rebellious nihilism that both metal and punk have often been known for. Disease Is Man falls short of exceptional, but it's a noteworthy and generally decent (if derivative) outing that die-hard thrash enthusiasts should be aware of.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson