Red Sky – World Crashing Down

Red Sky
World Crashing Down
1991 (no label)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

Joey Martelle – Vocals
Craig Erickson – Guitar, bass, keys
Kerri Horak Collings – Drums

  1. (Intro) Sunset
  2. Red Sky Tonight
  3. World Crashing Down
  4. Surrender
  5. Morning

Third and final demo by Red Sky? There is a big gap between this and 1988’s Today is the Future, but it seems that Erickson was releasing solo instrumental demos in between the two demos. This was the year before Erickson released his debut solo disc Roadhouse Stomp for Blues Bureau Records. As with his last demos, this one represents a jump forward in song writing and sonic quality. But it is also their shortest demo so far – only three full length songs, with a 30 second intro and outro listed as “songs” as well. Neoclassical shred metal that shows why Erickson was also signed by other labels like Roadrunner Records.

Craig Erickson – Demo

Craig Erickson
1990 (no label)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

Craig Erickson – Guitar, all instruments?

  1. The Open Road
  2. Riff-Groove
  3. Fast Lanes
  4. When Night Ends
  5. Airborne

This demo seems to answer the question of what Craig Erickson was doing in after the first two Red Sky demos (Time is Running Out in 1987 and Today is the Future in 1988). This demo is instrumental guitar shredder music. And Erickson can play! There is no information on this demo, but I am assuming that all instruments were by played Erickson. Unlike Red Sky, this is all instrumental. Also, if you are familiar with the guitar shredder genre, this is not fully heavy metal like Red Sky is – the songs are mostly written to show off guitar skill. Erickson shows that he has the ability to shred while also skillfully writing music as well – not all shredder guitarists could do that. It seems he went on to release one more Red Sky demo after this (World Crashing Down in 1991) and then pursued a solo career after that.

Red Sky – Today is the Future

Red Sky
Today is the Future
1988 (no label)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

Jerry Loy – Drums on “Eternity of Terror,” “New Age Lies,” and “The Temple”
Craig Erickson – Everything else

Side 1:

  1. Eternity of Terror
  2. New Age Lies
  3. Nails
  4. The Victory
  5. Power (His Majesty)

Side 2:

  1. As Time Races
  2. Today is the Future
  3. The Temple

This is the next demo after Time is Running Out for Red Sky (aka Craig Erikson). This one has information and slightly better production (still muddy, though). Also, it seems that Erikson has stepped up the song writing some. This is still neo-classical shred metal, but it seems to take on a bit of a groove that sounds like the California version of Seventh Seal some (the one that signed to Blonde Vinyl). But I believe it is Erickson on vocals. There is also another version of this tape that has mostly a similar look, but a different band logo and front cover. It seems the songs are the same, though:

Red Sky – Time is Running Out

Red Sky
Time is Running Out
1987 (no label)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

Jerry Loy – Drums?
Craig Erickson – Everything else?

  1. Time is Running Out
  2. Peace Like No Other (aka “East to West”)
  3. There’s a Better Answer (aka “Young One”)
  4. Money (or “Last Days”?)
  5. Instrumental
  6. Revelation
  7. Instrumental
  8. Strong Faith

Red Sky was the band project for guitar shred-master Craig Erickson. I have sometimes seen this referred to as just Time with seven songs. However, this tape was labeled Time is Running Out without any cover or song titles, but the lyrics seem to match up the titles I found online for Time. However, there was an 8th track on this tape that I called “Strong Faith” based on the chorus. Also, the one image I could find online of a possible cover has the second track labeled as “East to West” (Erickson sings both lines in the song). It also has the third track listed as “Young One” (and, again, both terms are sung in the song). To be honest, the lyrics for the 4th song say more about “Last Days” than “Money,” so I am not sure about that one. The placement of the two unnamed instrumentals matches up as well. Hopefully someone out there can provide a scan of the J-card? The sound is pretty much the neo-classical shred metal sound you would expect from a band built around a guitarist. The production quality is also pretty low and rough, but they do make the musicianship come through the muddy mix.

Missing Information: what are the song titles? Who played on this?