Reaper of Souls First Look: Westmarch Soundtrack

  • #1
    Reaper of Souls First Look: Westmarch Soundtrack
    You can listen to the soundtrack on this link.

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    Posted Image
    Over the past week, we've delved deeper into the renowned city of Westmarch, giving you a first look at its history, visual landscape, and bestiary. But there's still one more important design element to explore: its music!

    To whet your auditory appetite, we've put together an exclusive preview track featuring just a small sample of new melodies you'll hear as you help defend this besieged metropolis against the Angel of Death. So grab your headphones, Sanctuary; stay awhile and listen.

    Embed Removed: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/117870443?secret_token=s-WWtB0



    To get a better understanding of what goes into creating a soundtrack for a game like Reaper of Souls™, we also sat down with Diablo® III Music Director Derek Duke for a quick Q&A.

    Q. When setting out to create the soundtrack for Westmarch, where did you begin?
    Derek: The music of Westmarch was some of the first created for Reaper of Souls. In fact, it was written while I'd just started working on the opening cinematic. The soundtrack for Westmarch picks up right after the opening cinematic ends, so it has to instantly get you into that dark, dangerous, gothic sort of pace.

    I really wanted to match that pace and encapsulate the creepy, ominous vibe the developers were going for with Westmarch in that early music. That all begun with the instrumentation. The orchestral voicing used in Reaper of Souls, and particularly in Westmarch, is weighted a bit more traditionally. This means more woodwinds and less brass than what’s commonly used in today's scores. To my ear, it makes a big difference, and puts the orchestral emphasis a bit more on voicing (harmonized melodies that contain one or more instruments) and colors (the quality of the sound, or timbre).

    Q. What's unique about the Westmarch soundtrack? Are there any particular instruments or themes that are specific to the zone?
    Derek: In Westmarch, I'd say sonic themes in the music work to propel the story by creating associations.

    For example, there are a couple of the themes and musical textures established and attached to Malthael from the very beginning, starting in the intro cinematic with his arrival.

    There's a deep, otherworldly moaning underneath the strings. We use a percussion technique to get that sound out of the timpani and bass drum by rubbing it with a super-ball or wet finger. (My producer had a real "WTF" moment when he heard that sound coming from the orchestra, by the way.) Following that with the orchestral bells seemed the obvious choice for the Angel of Death—a character not for whom the bell tolls, but the one who's holding the bell and tolling it for everyone else.

    These musical textures and combinations are often the sign of Malthael's presence or the harbinger of his arrival. As you play through Westmarch, you hear these musical ideas used throughout the music, changing and evolving contextually as the story moves forward. Keep an ear out for them!

    Q. So, there are themes tied to specific characters, but what about specific locations? Are there certain themes or portions of music for different parts of the city?
    Derek: Yes, definitely. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but it's the time and places and evolution of the music pieces that help to move the story forward.

    Q. Can you tell us a bit about the track you’re sharing with us today?
    Derek: Like much of the in-game music in Diablo III and Reaper of Souls, this an arrangement of several music pieces, some assorted flavors.

    It starts with some of the broad Westmarch crescendos or swells, and you’ll hear the giant tam-tam (or gong), and bowed acoustic guitar playing above.

    It then moves in to the Y'Anu theme over the moaning tympani and bass drum. This theme is first heard in the Reaper of Souls intro cinematic, which takes place in the Tomb of Rakkis where Tyrael attempts to hide the Black Soulstone. Y'Anu was written as a meditative chant of the Horadrim whereby the acolyte could meditate on the mysteries of Anu, or The One.

    And last but not least, Malthael's signature theme (which I mentioned above) buttons up the end.
    Thanks for listening, and I hope you all enjoy!
     
  • #2
    Really enjoying these little snippets and teasers for the expansion, in the lead-in to Blizzcon.

    Maybe my anticipation is just boiling over, like a lot of other peoples'...but I wonder if they're sharing a lot of this basic stuff now, so that they can spend more time during the actual Blizzcon precedings to focus on game mechanics, system changes, and so forth.

    I think that'd be a smart move. Players are already getting exciting about the expansion, confirming many of the rumors and datamines at a huge event like Blizzcon would be the guarantee for people to come back to the game.
    Pre AH-shutdown Transcendence/Spirit (Re)gen build, uses only found and crafted gear and gems, can handle MP7.
  • #3
    An undeniably atmospheric piece of music :)

    Official Diablo Fansite since 1998
  • #4
    Love it - this soundtrack is just simply stunning to me and definitely evokes the emotions that a Diablo game should make you feel as you play and progress through the story.
  • #5
    Lookin... I mean... Sounds good :D
  • #6
    I want some meaty news and info, come on its an expansion I dont think soundtrack is going to get many people excited
  • #7
    Quote from venom1stas

    I want some meaty news and info, come on its an expansion I dont think soundtrack is going to get many people excited


    Wait 2 more days.
  • #8
    Listening to this makes me sad. Not because that's the atmosphere of the theme...but because once again, the soundtrack puts ambience over rythm and melody. Listen to for example the cave theme from Diablo 2 with the drums and the bells and tell me that's not a musical piece that makes you want to fight monsters. Listening to this, I'd rather be playing a tense horror game where I'm just waiting for the next moment of terror and gruesome death rather than be taking part in some blood pumping action of an ARPG game.
    A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head!
  • #9
    Quote from lMarcusl

    Listening to this makes me sad. Not because that's the atmosphere of the theme...but because once again, the soundtrack puts ambience over rythm and melody. Listen to for example the cave theme from Diablo 2 with the drums and the bells and tell me that's not a musical piece that makes you want to fight monsters. Listening to this, I'd rather be playing a tense horror game where I'm just waiting for the next moment of terror and gruesome death rather than be taking part in some blood pumping action of an ARPG game.


    So it's like D1? Isn't that what a lot of people are enjoying/wanting out of the soundtrack?
  • #10
    Very nice piece! :Thumbs Up:
  • #11
    Amazing piece. I love the overarching Malthael theme and the (hopefully prominent) return of acoustic guitar.

    This absolutely nails the foreboding, dread-inducing tone that I was hoping for. As much as I enjoy the Diablo 3 vanilla soundtrack (apparently I'm in the minority on that one), I much prefer this more intimate, "hopeless" sound as opposed to the adventurous grandeur of Acts 1>4.
  • #12
    Oh, I love it! It's sounds amazing. It's like Diablo 1 made in to a scary movie.

    Loot 2.0, Paragon 2.0, The visuals I've seen, now the Music. I'm so happy with the direction they are taking this game.

    /tears of happiness :QQ:
  • #13
    BlizzCon revealed something else about the soundtrack. Anyone who loved the Diablo II cinematics' music will be happy to hear that they will be re-using the main melody from them. At around 43:10 in the video Jason Hayes and his band perform some new Reaper of Souls, and that same melody re-appears:

    [VIDEO]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GwNEeMkBvg[/VIDEO]

    I tweeted Hayes and he confirms that they will be revisiting that theme for the soundtrack. I know this won't be that exciting to everyone, but I have been a fan of that music for years, and sadly they've never released the cinematic soundtracks for the old games, so I'm happy to see it re-appear.
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.
Posts Quoted:
Reply
Clear All Quotes