Torchlight II Soundtrack, Matt Uelmen, 2012
To call one particular work the culmination of an artist’s oeuvre can be a risky maneuvre. It suggests linear development across works and prescribes an easily identifiable trajectory. But it’s hard not to fete a work like the Torchlight II soundtrack as the realisation of a particular musical approach. On this album, Matt Uelmen combines all elements that have characterised his scores so far and perfects them.
As always, his music deals in textures rather than melodies, suggestions rather than definitive manifestations. At its best, this approach led to wonders like Diablo’s “Tristram”. This game music classic was an instantly striking demonstration of how to score fantasy environments in new, idiosyncratic ways. However, taking the same approach, Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction ended up veering between scintillating and meandering.