Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath introduces six new acts, which naturally means we've significantly expanded our soundtrack! Our in-house composer, Kamil, has written an entry that explains his approach to creating this music and what to expect when The Fall of Oriath launches!


When it comes to the sheer amount of work and attention to detail, The Fall of Oriath takes Path of Exile's music and composition to another level. The fifth act is also the first act for which the soundtrack was composed as a complete "package”, with tracks notably relating to each other. Act Five is the first to be completely composed by a single composer, with the goal of providing coherency and completeness over the entire playthrough of the act.

With Path of Exile we are also lucky in that we can keep on improving the music. Instead of having one deadline for finishing the game, and then moving on to the next game like most game companies would, we can continually expand on and improve old content. Path of Exile's music is something that is constantly evolving and expanding, not only with each major expansion, but sometimes in smaller patches as well. The small and often-seen patch note, "Incrementally improved effects, animations, sounds and world areas" sometimes hides very big musical changes.

When it comes to scenery and atmosphere, Oriath provides a very different backdrop compared to the nightmares in Act Four. The monumental architecture as well as the militaristic and theocratic influence of the Templar's order required new tools when it came to the music. From my point of view as a composer, there are two words which describe Act Five very well; order and chaos.

Starting out with the order, i.e. the Templars, I went with the sound of a large symphony orchestra without Woodwind instruments. However, to set the right mood I added a very large all-male choir with many baritone and bass voices to establish the signature sound, and to make the Templar sound powerful and serious.



In some arrangements, I've selectively used female voices to evoke feelings of mourning in response to the deaths of victims in the uprising. The female voice also provides a mystical quality to areas in Oriath that are considered holy.

The Karui revolt brought a lot of bloodshed, destruction and chaos. To reflect this musically, the instruments are distorted, with synths and twisted sound effects augmenting the orchestral arrangements or at times even replacing them.

This was all laid upon a foundation of percussion. I used militaristic drum snares, large surdos and bassdrums, and accented them with various types of metallic sounds such as anvils.

When I came to New Zealand and started work on Act Five, I was asked to create a new menu theme. It became obvious to me how important it would be for the present and future musical score in Path of Exile. I'm a big fan of catchy melodies and I knew it needed something simple, yet memorable and identifiable with Path of Exile's world. The question was whether I create something new or base it on any of the existing tunes. To help with the decision I created a survey on the forum.



In the end, the Belly of the Beast track was used as the basis for the new title music. I was surprised by how many variations could be made based on just a few notes from it. One of the versions fit really well with the completely new look of the login screen, but still clearly referenced the original Belly of the Beast track.

Six new acts means a lot of new content. One of the goals with creating so many new acts is to make things feel new and fresh, and music plays a large part in this. While Act Five will be released with completely new music, acts 6-10 will need more time for original pieces to be created.

The long term plan is to draw some kind of musical map, with a natural musical progression, through these acts. Many zones in the game would have musical elements from zones next to them, or have elements of the music that the player encountered in the earlier playthrough.

Encampments and bosses are often the starting point for themes and the "palette of sounds", which eventually becomes a reference point for the rest of the act's music, but this must be balanced against keeping the connection to the new main theme.



A good example of this can be found in Act Six, where I wrote a new theme for Lioneye's Watch (Let's call it "Still Alive"). "Still Alive" shares some notes with Act One's Lioneye's Watch track, but at the same time also feels very different, since it is a very different arrangement, and is connected to the main theme. The end of this track even has parts of the main theme in it. The final boss of Act Six also has some melody elements from "Still Alive" to tie the start and end of the act together. The rest of the music for Act Six is still in development, but these two tracks will take the lead and influence the rest of them.

Given this constant evolution, I had to pick a cutoff point at the end of act five for what to include in The Fall or Oriath's supporter packs so I could provide a coherent and professionally mastered soundtrack that works well as a whole.

I hope you will enjoy all the new music in The Fall of Oriath! In the meantime, here is a preview of one of the upcoming tracks.

Kamil Orman-Janowski
Composer
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Grinding Gear Games
Love the music, nice read.
The Wizard's Tower Guild - http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1251403

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with
sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
-Galileo Galilei
nice:)
Kamil-Abalioglu-Haber-Sal-Sevdigim
Neden yaşıyorsun?
Last edited by Jideament on Jun 26, 2017 7:13:19 PM
So Poland can into GGG? Where do I send my CV?
Music has forever been , a PogChamp in PoE. 3.0 for live realm please, and can't wait for those cutscenes in PoE <3
Nice music.
tbh I don't even recall differences in music as im going through the game, however some of the music when you are in town is pretty cool and would be cool if that same stuff was in hideout or maybe make a music player you can put in hideout that lets you select all different kind of music to play in your hideout
Last edited by oldmunchi on Jun 26, 2017 7:13:39 PM
Great job :)
really nice... ty
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