Dark Tranquility

For 'We Are the Void,' Dark Tranquility guitarist Niklas Sundin stepped away from designing the band's artwork for the first time since 1995. "Niklas felt he didn't have any ideas," vocalist Mikael Stanne told Noisecreep. "He put so much into the album, musically, so he felt it was hard to illustrate it as well. We talked to artists and we found this German guy Stefan, and the idea was to show the void within. It's simple and straightforward and shows that we need to fill the void. The album deals with that. What do we fill the void with? What stupid stuff do we pretend to believe in and what excuses we use to not fade out and be nothingness?"

While that is an admittedly bleak point of view, Stanne chalks it up to being either "Scandinavian, realistic or pessimistic." He also said, "It's reality for me. I have an atheist way of looking at things. Faith is like some type of defense mechanism that we don't really need. We feel we need it sometimes, but it's great when you can overcome it. You realize, 'I am taking charge here and not depending on faith or ideas or other person's ideas. This is my own making and life, and I am taking control.'"

While evangelicals may vehemently disagree, Stanne holds fast to such beliefs. "I am for sure an atheist," he said. He grew up in vaguely Christian household that clearly didn't rub off on him. "My grandmother was Christian, so my mother was, too, and I wanted to distance myself."

'We Are the Void' is in stores in March.

More From Noisecreep