When speaking of the most influential hardcore bands of all time, folks usually fall back on the early staples—Bad Brains, Discharge, Black Flag, Minor Threat, and so on. The game-changing bands that followed in their wake typically nudged the genre’s loud-fast-rules into other territories, often times compromising the original intensity and urgency of their forefathers. It's unlikely you'll hear of New Jersey’s Rorschach being placed on the same pedestal as the aforementioned acts, yet they’re one of the few post-’82 bands to take hardcore to creative new extremes. While their first album, Remain Sedate, was a solid continuation of the punk/metal hybrid set forth by bands like Siege and Septic Death, their follow-up album, Protestant, created a whole new standard for both technical ability and sonic ugliness. The album abandons the power chord thrash of their earlier work in favor of dissonant plucked riffs and sophisticated instrument interplay. Rorschach took death metal’s dexterity and Voivod's dark prog and filtered it into a hardcore context. The band dissolved in ’93, but they inspired a whole new generation of hardcore bands to dig deeper into darker territory while pushing for stronger musicianship. They might not have spawned as many bootleg t-shirts and bad tattoos as Henry, H.R., and Ian, but their influence is still pervasive, manifesting itself in modern hardcore bands like Owen Heart and Converge as well as heavyweights like Mastodon and Dillinger Escape Plan.

Rorschach did a few reunion dates in 2009 and 2010, mostly in the NYC area. But now they’ve announced a show at El Corazon on August 19th with Heiress and Great Falls. I couldn’t be more excited. Now if we could just get His Hero Is Gone to add a Seattle date after their June 4th reunion at ABC No Rio