Beginning as a one-man project from Aphazel in 1992, Ancient quickly turned into a two-piece by adding Grimm to the lineup on vocals and drums for the release of this early 1993 demo. Like many black metal acts from the time, the band made their first statement in the form of a lo-fi cassette demo that can be perceived more as a medium of jotting down their ideas than creating anything worth listening to. While there are a number of early black metal demos worth hearing, Eerily Howling Winds unfortunately suffers from an unlistenable sound quality and a derivative stylistic approach. Ancient would improve greatly for the release of the following year's Svartalvheim both in terms of originality and quality of production/musicianship. This one is only for the die-hard fans.
Musically, we're dealing with fairly standard second-wave black metal, albeit with little dependence on blast beats and furious tremolo picking. It's clear that the works of Bathory, Burzum, and Darkthrone had quite an impact on Ancient, and Eerily Howling Winds has just about everything you'd expect from a Norwegian black metal demo from this time period. There are actually quite a few interesting ideas and riffs scattered throughout the demo's 16-minute duration, but they're so obscured by a muddy production that the end result is hardly listenable. A bit of a shame, especially considering the atmospheric potential of a track like "Det Glemte Riket". Thankfully it, along with the rest of the demo, would see better recordings in the coming years.
While you'll find a handful of interesting ideas throughout Eerily Howling Winds, the fact that the production more closely resembles the sound of a vacuum cleaner than anything musical means this is a fan-item only. This is best avoided, and 1 star is the only fair rating in this case. If you're curious, I'd recommend hearing re-recorded versions of the tracks here instead - this demo is hardly worth your attention.