The Music of Diablo, Plus Matt Uelmen’s D3 Music Returns

A new piece of Blizzard merchandise was unveiled at BlizzCon 2011, and has since been added to the online Blizzard store. It’s a CD called DiabloWikiThe Music of Diablo, and it collects previously-unreleased music from D1, D2, D2X, and even contains a couple of previews pieces from Diablo III.

Most of the music on the disk was composed and/or performed by Matt Uelmen, and he came up in the news recently, when a fan lamented his absence from Diablo III’s music. And got a surprising reply from a Blizzard CM.

D3 could have been saved if Matt Uelmen was still around to compose music for it. But alas.
We recorded approximately 90 minutes of Matt playing 12-string guitars for the Diablo III soundtrack.

All is saved!

Since Matt left Blizzard for Runic Games in 2007, this might seem puzzling… until you remember that he worked at Blizzard North until the studio closed in 2005 (he then continued on with Bliz Irvine for a couple of years, contributing much to the WoW Burning Crusade xpack). None of the games Blizzard North worked on after D2X ever saw the light of day, but clearly some of Matt’s recordings survived. The guitar mentioned above, and we know he did some full symphonic pieces in Bratislavia in 2005.

A few of his unheard Diablo compositions are now showing up; that’s one in the you tube to the right, a symphonic piece entitled “Lord.” Check out this forum thread for more info about and discussion of Matt’s work on Diablo. There are also several sample recordings, from the Diablo 3 Beta as well as the The Music of Diablo CD. (Every track of which is on YouTube, if you don’t mind the mediocre sound quality of .flv files.)

Russel Brower in a short interview from the BlizzCon 2011 PPV broadcast, in which he talks about the Music of Diablo CD.

“Hydra,” concept music for Diablo III by Matt Uelmen. (Diablo III was known as “Project Hydra” during the years of development before the game was announced.)

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3, Ex-Blizzard, Merchandise


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  1. I hope they put his 90 min music in Diablo 3. His music is fantastic. The music I have heard from Diablo 3 so far seem drastically different, just ambient stuff. Not sure what’s up with that, but they better include some great tunes into the final release of Diablo 3.

  2. I don’t think this is really fair. He meant to put this music in a much better product. A vastly inferior product is now using music that was never intended for it.

  3. As has been mentioned before, “Lord” was not composed by Uleman (it’s almost a note for note ripoff of Stravinsky). Poor example to use.

  4. I think Diablo will survive without Matt Uelmen, but his music will be dearly missed 😉

  5. Bratislava, not Bratslavia

  6. I bought this CD at BC largely for the high quality tracks of the D1 soundtrack, which do not disappoint.
    The “never before released” is a bit misleading, as all of the D2 tracks were included in a soundtrack CD with the CE, and the D2X ones were included in a soundtrack CD given to preorder customers.
    One interesting thing is that “Hydra” is the music that has been used to introduce/close every Diablo panel at Blizzcon for at least the last 3 years. I always thought it was a really cool piece but figured it was just some generic orchestral thing they were using. Cool to know that it was actually composed for the project, and by Matt!

  7. who played the guitar at Blizzcon 2008 opening ceremony?
    1 minute into this video

    • Lawrence Juber, who is not the guy in the video up there as Flux indicates (that’s Russel Brower). This was not BC 2008, btw. It was the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational.

  8. Ordered this off the store a few days ago. Can’t wait till it gets here.

  9. From my understanding from this years sound panel, the 90 minutes of music in question was only used as a template (for lack of a better word) for the sound team. None of it is used in the game, it was just used as research for the sound team for them trying to see what Matt Uelman was trying to do before the studio shut down and the first D3 was cancelled.

  10. All symphonic crap. It seems Matt’s departure is not to the issue for the drastic change in diablo’s soundtrack style. The direction was decided from the higher ups.
    I can live with it, just like I can live with all the other generic symphonic crap from everyone else.

  11. The diablo music was always about ambiance. It had a lot of impact and it was quite creepy, but it was still ambiance music. The Tristram song was the one that was different. It’s the black sheep, not the norm.

  12. Yeah the music is meant to be a part of the surroundings in a way, ambiance, as you put it, but that doesn’t mean it should be generic or dull. I’m not saying it is though. I can’t judge from the low quality Beta footage I’ve seen, and I don’t want to spoil the music for myself. I think it’s cool that Diablo borrows heavily from other composers at times, as long as the sound as a whole remains unique. I’m not holding my expectations too high for D3 music, but I do hope to be surprised now and then. This release is exciting me a bit too much, so I might have to go and buy it…

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