The Christian metal label Pure Metal Records signed its share of quality talent during the decade of the eighties, releasing albums by such noteworthy artists as Bride, Saint, Messiah Prophet and Whitecross. Several lesser known – though no less able – groups were part of the label as well: Scarlet Red, Eternal Ryte and Rosanna’s Raiders. Rosanna’s Raiders was a group of particular merit. A female fronted power trio from Australia, Rosanna’s Raiders recorded two albums on Pure Metal in Calling Down Fire (1987) and Clothed In Fire (1988) that, while not ranking with the heaviest releases of the era, delivered enough guitar driven edge to fall within the commercial hard rock and melodic rock categories. Those whose musical tastes trend towards Shout, Guardian, Angelica and Stryper, for instance, should be able to find a home in Rosanna’s Raiders. Likewise, I would expect fans of other groups of the time with female vocalists - Vixen, Heart, Scarlet Red and Ransom all come to mind – to embrace Rosanna’s Raiders as well.
Lead vocalist, guitarist and composer Rosanna Palmer is the driving force behind the band. Showcasing an abundant vocal style that can best be described as equal parts emotion and equal parts refined, Rosanna brings a bit more range when compared to contemporaries such as Lisa Faxson (Ransom) or Danis (Scarlet Red) but does not quite have the fiery touch of Nancy Jo Mann (Barnabas) or Christine Steel (Arsenal). Observation and not a critique in either case. As a guitarist, she proves quite the unheralded musician. While several tracks on Calling Down Fire do a good job of highlighting her abilities (“Run The Race” and “Not Gonna Let You Go Again” both come to mind), it is on Clothed In Fire in which she comes into her own: the likes of “Crying In The Night”, “Blind Eyes”, “Crazy World” and “Do It Right” all exhibit the growth and maturity demonstrated in her playing. Rounding out the bands rhythm section is husband David Palmer (bass) and drummer Johno Zaffarese.
It is a fairly well known fact that Calling Down Fire and Clothed In Fire, out of print for literally years, are hard to find and pricey collectors items. The good news, however, is that both were re-issued in late 2007 by Retroactive Records as part of a two CD set with the first disc made up of Calling Down Fire and Clothed In Fire and the second the groups even more obscure 1985 independent release We Are Raiders and the bonus track “One Man” (which made its initial appearance on the Modification compilation).