ROSANNA'S RAIDERS - Before & After the Fire 1985 - 2019
From the great down-under, Australian rockers Rosanna's Raiders are back! Well, sort-of. What we have here is a compilation of sorts, but new music none-the-less. Being brought to us from the overseas label Prog AOR Records, and part of their Diamond Roxx Series which has reissued a bunch of rare and unreleased bands, this is a great, and needed addition to any RR fan.
So what do we have here, a bunch of songs from their two well known American releases? Nope, not at all — none of those tracks at all actually. What we DO have here is a two-CD set. Disc one is filled with 15 tracks recorded between 1996 and 2019. Doubtfully many people outside of their native country have had access to these tracks.
Disc 2 is their ten-track 1985 We Are Raiders custom tape, plus one bonus 11th track — One Man — from an Australian only compilation, Modification. Now, if you have been a fan, and paying attention for some time, then you'll know that this second disc, with the bonus track, was previously released with the Retroactive Records 2007 remastered reissue of the band's two American releases, 1987's Calling Down Fire, and 1988's Clothed In Fire. If you missed out on that reissue, then here is your chance to own these tracks again. And with this set, you'll fill in the gaps before and after those two American "Fire" albums (hence the "Before & After the Fire" title).
This release is described in detail by the label:
Collection of selected studio recordings made from 1996 until 2019, that encapsulate what would be RR's third album, after a long hiatus.
Some of these songs were released previously on Rosanna Palmer's solo albums, self-released in Australia for the Christian worship music market, so a careful pick'n'mix selection was made for all the RR fans out there who never heard these amazing songs. The 2019 song 'I'm Rising" is an exclusive (outside Australia) for this release. Recorded at the time this project was settled, impressively, it's one of their heaviest tracks ever recorded, much in the style of "We are Raiders"!
Speaking of "We are Raiders", that rare 1985 cassette never released on vinyl and only presented as bonus CD in a U.S. reissue from 2007 of their both albums, will be presented on this release too as a bonus second disc, so it will be the first time it is released in Europe.
Rosanna's Raiders were a female fronted Hard Rock power trio formed in the early 80s in Australia similar to Christian Rock bands like Petra, Resurrection Band or even comparable to Christian female fronted melodic metal/hard rock bands Ransom and Arsenal.
After two domestic cassette releases in 1985 and 1986, they have their first international release, "Calling Down Fire", released in 1988 by the Christian Metal/Rock label Pure Metal (Part of Refuge label). Basically the songs were the same ones of "Run The Race" cassette released two years earlier in Australia.
In 1989 they have their second album, "Clothed in Fire," released this time by the Refuge imprint.
In the 90’s, Rosanna, David, and Johno, along with other musicians have continued to record sporadically (Rosanna Palmer and her husband, bass player David Palmer) under the name of Rosanna Palmer. Listening to the new song "I'm Rising", Rosanna's voice still keeps it's power from the past; in fact, we can consider Rosanna Palmer the best female Christian Hard Rock singer and the music style continues to be the melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal that you've heard on the 80's albums.
Presented with a 16-page booklet containing lyrics, rare photos, liner notes from David Palmer and remastered sound.
A great synopsis of a great release. The newer tunes are just as solid and along the same lines as the ones we're familiar with from the American 80's releases. Initially, reading that these songs were self-released "for the Christian worship music market," I was concerned they might be more in the style of...well...worship music. But no, they range from edgy pop rock to hard rock, and Rosanna's voice is as strong as ever, as mentioned. If you're a fan of the early releases, this will please you as well.
So, in the end, if you have a copy of the two American releases, and this CD, you'll have a pretty much complete collection. A true completist will want to track down the solo projects these tracks were pulled from, but until then, this is a great release to have. I'm glad to have snagged a copy of the Retroactive reissue in 2007 and now this. It is a great collection of rocking material. This new release is available via mail order direct from the European label itself, but is also found on this side of the water through Roxx/CMD, as well as places like Amazon.com. Grab one before this limited release is gone.