Diablo Soundtrack, Matt Uelmen, 1996
When Blizzard announced Diablo III at the 2008 Blizzcon Worldwide International, they chose to a simple way to do so. All guitarist Laurence Juber had to do was to play the first few chords of the original Diablo’s signature tune. Of course, the piece in question was Matt Uelmen’s immortal “Tristram”. And according to Diablo III’s lead composer Russell Brower “over 10,000 people in the room knew EXACTLY what was coming”. Such is the power of a truly classic soundtrack composition that it can become the most memorable and thus quickest reference to the game or film it accompanied. That makes it all the more remarkable that it took 15 years for this composition – and the rest of Diablo’s music – to get a soundtrack release.
Of course, “Tristram” (here in its expanded Diablo II rendition) will be the main reason for gamers to seek out this album, and for good reason. In short, Uelmen’s composition is a masterpiece of subtly evoked atmosphere. These opening strummed guitar chords herald a piece that still remains fascinating for its ambiguous, multi-layered atmosphere.