A Canadian band steeped in the hard rock sounds of Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and Deep Purple, Priestess was formed in 2002 in Montreal, Quebec. Frontman, lead guitarist, and chief songwriter Mikey Heppner had previously performed with The Dropouts, and he pieced together his new band with help from rhythm guitarist Dan Watchorn, bassist Mike Dyball, and drummer Vince Nudo. Partnering with producer Gus van Go, Priestess made its debut with Hello Master, which was released in October 2005 and earned critical acclaim for its interpretation of classic, 1970s-influenced rock & roll. The track "Talk to Her" reached Number 33 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 2006, with "Lay Down" appearing in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock — the best-selling video game of 2007 — one year later. Both songs boosted the band's popularity, as did shows with acts like Megadeth, Dinosaur Jr., and Mastodon. By the summer of 2007, Priestess had begun to work on music for a new album, looking to evolve and expand beyond the sound that Hello Master introduced. Prior to the Fire was released in 2009, featuring elements of prog-rock, metal, and stoner rock. "Lady Killer" was released as a single but failed to chart, and the band had lapsed into inactivity by 2012, with its various members pursuing different projects.