Released through Akhenaten’s (Judas Iscariot) label Breath of Night Records, ”Storms of the Black Millenium” is a fierce assault of merciless black metal, created by a band that never gained much attention. Screeching vocals scream violently while the guitars attack with simple tremolo firing: Cryptic Winds’ relentless style is somewhat reminiscent of e.g. Black Witchery, and the production is noisy, raw, so that there’s lots of clipping in the audio, but I don’t think this album was made for audiophiles anyway.
Cryptic Winds knew how to keep their style of bellicose black metal interesting. First and foremost, the album lasts for mere 25 minutes. Also, the interlude tracks ”Tempest” and ”Atomic Winter Landscapes” ensure that the album isn’t a tiring, constant presentation of sheer aggression. Not to undermine the black metal compositions either, no; tracks like ”The Ashes of Nightfall” and ”Dark Paradise” show rather sonorous and thoughtful ideas, true anthems for war. The programmed drums are sometimes slightly embarrassing (hear some parts of the title track), but in the midst of a noisy war, I don’t mind them much. Even synths are presented at times, only tastefully, as the intro track ”Prelude of Portenousness” tells.
”Storms of the Black Millenium” was a worthy discovery, even if nothing unforeseen, and it is sad that this ended up being their only output, if we don’t count the obscure demo from 1999. The booklet includes lyrics accompanied by matching images of war and destruction, so all in all it's a nice package. Fans of savage, bestial black metal, make sure to check this out if you find it anywhere - I was able to track down a second-handed copy of this album for less than three euros.