European power metal combo Primal Fear has been kicking around the metal underground for years, refining its brand of melodic riffing and soaring vocals. Its sound, highly influenced by Gamma Ray (who has traded members with this band) and Judas Priest, was introduced on its 1998 eponymous debut. The following year showed them gathering a press following when Jaws of Death gained positive reviews from most respectable metal critics. On top of that, its European popularity flourished as power metal enjoyed moderate success in the overseas mainstream. Nuclear Fire followed in 2001, leading to the band's first U.S. appearances in the guise of several large metal festivals throughout the year. The group returned to the studio in early 2002, recording and releasing Black Sun by the end of spring.