VGM Wednesdays – “Tristram Village” from Diablo

by Kenley

“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!

Kenley

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