I had the opportunity to review the original Diablo III soundtrack, and I noted that while it was great in its own right, it didn’t feel like it belonged to the Diablo universe. More so, it felt like the world of Diablo told through the musical stylings of World of Warcraft. Diablo III: Repear of Souls takes a different direction, with composer Derek Duke acting as audio lead, allowing for a new soundscape to unfold.
Does this change have a lasting impact on the score? Read our full review below.
Similar to past Blizzard Entertainment soundtrack releases, the production values here are high. We get live orchestra, tons of live performers, and great album production with tracks flowing into one another. There’s also an abundance of great choral work, and while I still don’t quite feel the brooding and gritty atmospheres of past Diablo titles, I feel this moves things more in that direction. There’s certainly a big orchestral sound, but also the classic Diablo 12-string guitar that will tug at listeners’ sense of nostalgia.
A lot of the music stands out to me, with the dark and mysterious “Cursader” and it’s ringing triangle, “The Guise of a Man” with its masterful use of dissonance to emphasize a sense of deceit, and the ponderous “Westmarch,” mulling back and forth between two notes, creating an effectively ominous atmosphere. “In Arius” brings in choir, brass, and timpani in a foreboding fashion, while “Battle Grounds of Eternity” provides tension with its repetitive harp segments and ascending bass. “Paths of the Drowned” touches on beauty with its choral work, and constant surge underneath that’s both beautiful and unsettling at the same time, while “Urzael” gets explosive electronics and choir and “The Wrath of Angels” its brass stabs and epic orchestra. Rounding out the album, “Runes” could be called reflective and mysterious, “Y’anu Gujava” stirring with its sweet vocal harmonies, and “A Mortal Heart” a powerful piano and strings piece that comes as a bittersweet ending.
In all, I enjoyed the Diablo III: Repear of Souls soundtrack a lot. The album makes for a great, albiet moody, listening experience that can be enjoyed apart from the game. I’m looking forward to what the audio team at Blizzard Entertainment does with the franchise next time, as the success Diablo III has enjoyed all but assures that we’ll see it again some day.