So basically for this image I had a difficult time creating a visual situation I could feel strong and meaningful... I really don't like horror for the sake of horror. It's like pornography. For me, art has to contain some kind of metaphor or clever message; even if this seems kind of obvious, it is not. The internet is saturated with cool looking images that mean absolutely nothing.
The basic concept for this one was the contrast and juxtaposition of Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. I tell you, it was by no means easy getting to this solution! The band originally suggested to depict Purgatory as a dark horrible place, much like Hell... but then, you would have a cover with "two Hells"! So I said NO, we will do Purgatory as described in religious mythology: as a stationary place to contemplate our mistakes... neither rewarded or punished. Since most people isn't totally good or totally bad, I imagined Purgatory as the most crowded place in all the spiritual realm... I mean really crowded! Hell would be like nothing we couldn't find on earth; just a horrible place abundant in physical pain and torture. Finally, Heaven would be a place of meditation; bright and peaceful.
I think the final result is quite surreal...
Cover (wide format)
Cover (Cd format)
Unused Concept Sketch #1
Unused Concept Sketch #2