VGM Wednesdays – “Tristram Village” from Diablo

“Opening” from Blizzard’s “Diablo,”  released in 1996.

The twelve-string guitar is such a wonderful instrument.  A guitar usually has six strings, but each string is double at the octave (except the high B and E strings).  So, every chord that you play is wonderfully full and I love it 🙂

“Diablo” came out when I was in Grade 6 and, while I sucked at it, the music really pulled me in.  It was so atmospheric, so ethereal – so much more about the feeling it embued rather than the notes, harmony and structure.  It felt more like colours than sounds.

Even in the opening, as the acoustic guitar is playing these open suspended and added chords (add2/add6/add9), the trumpet has this beautiful 2-1 and it just sits beautifully (it’s at about 0:12 in the video).  Then, as the chords delay and wash stereophonically throughout the headphones, the harmonics fall into the mix like raindrops and the oboe has a harmonic minor-like entrance, evoking a distant or unfamiliar place(0:35).  From there, the intensity of the picking rises and the low strings drone below…

The composer, Matt Uelman, gets so much mileage out of that twelve-string guitar.  So pumped, but also terrified.

The rest of the video has some righteous music from the game too, but the opening is what really caught me.  What kind of memories do you have from this game? Let me know!


3 thoughts on “VGM Wednesdays – “Tristram Village” from Diablo

  1. Diablo 1 & 2 have two of the best soundtracks ever. I’ve never heard anything quite like them… very dark, very memorable. It’s a shame Uelman isn’t doing any work on D3; His music was definitely a major part of the atmosphere for me.

  2. Nice analysis on the song- there really is a lot going on and seems to build and build. Very solemn…
    What I remember about the game? Being a white knight PKK but really just a noob. 🙂

  3. Honestly, I went straight from Warcraft to Warcraft II and never had the opportunity to play Diablo. But, I must agree that the music is very cool, especially for the time it was released. I really dig the harmonic interjections!

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