Frontman Shawn Milke explained to Alternative Press: "The Emptiness is an idea that my co-vocalist and co-creator Dennis Lee and I have had since the days of recording our first EP, Try This With Your Eyes Closed. We've spent our career thus far basing our songs and lyrics on the works of some of our favorite authors and literature of the past (i.e. stories in Greek mythology, fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm) and some chosen contemporary screenwriting (i.e. Heroes, The Princess Bride). However, even back when we first started writing together, he and I always talked about writing our own story that we could bring to life through one of our records. The Emptiness is that dream come true.Writing a story has to begin somewhere, it has to have its roots planted in some sort of inspiration. For Dennis and myself, that inspiration rested within the stories and poems of Edgar Allen Poe. In hindsight, this was a match made in heaven. Poe was a master of weaving words that could be so horrific and yet eerily beautiful all at once, and his final resting place is in Baltimore - the birthplace of Alesana and where we relocated to write this story.The Poe piece that stood out to us the most was actually the final composition ever published in his career - a poem called 'Annabel Lee.' Some believe that his wife, Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, inspired it but that has never been verified. The key point that we found interesting in 'Annabel Lee' was its theme. It explores the death of a beautiful woman and follows the thoughts of a narrator who retains his love for her even after her death. We decided that this theme would be the basis for The Emptiness. We were going to tell our own horrific love story. We showed our love, respect and thanks to Poe by naming our female lead character Annabel, and the ninth song in the story 'In Her Tomb By The Sounding Sea,' was the final line published in the famed career of Poe."