The Wolf Howls When I Scream Your Name – To Be Where There Is Pale Light

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: N/A
Released: 2019
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Matthew Awbery – Vocals & Guitar,
Sam Johnson – Drums,
Harry Woodrow – Bass.


1. Alive & All So Well
2. Migraine
3. No Alibi
4. It Hurts Me
5. Endless Sky


As has been previously stated in these hallowed tomes, the albums that fall onto the (virtual) desk are always accompanied by a little item on the band, etc. This one for THE WOLF HOWLS WHEN I SCREAM YOUR NAME is no different, but boy does it fill you with the joys of spring. With a debut EP called “To Be Where There Is Pale Light”, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it might be a little esoteric. Not quite, folks. It seems the band have a penchant for that most cheery of topics: death.

It might be quite a stereotypical thought, but you usually associate such a topic with dour, dark and depressing music, yet “…Pale Light” doesn’t quite acquiesce. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, mind, but it’s certainly not the bleak fare one would expect. The twinkling clean guitar melodies that litter the album, give a certain lift to the beefy alt rock riffs that would lurch the album towards the darker end of the musical spectrum – cue the soaring opener “Alive & All So Well”. It adds a pleasant levity to proceedings, and marries up to the artwork so well. It really does feel like the sun breaking through rainy skies near a body of water.

Whilst the EP centres around death, maybe there’s case to argue that the overall music is meant to be that ray of sun through the gloom? “No Alibi” certainly possesses a certain summery quality in places, sounding like it was played with smiles on the face. Even closer “Endless Sky”, despite it’s dreary opening lines of “She said ‘how am I supposed to carry on? How am I supposed to stay so strong, when all I really want is to hear his voice again?’”, still sounds quite cheerful. Perhaps it’s a case of smiling through the pain?

If THE WOLF HOWLS WHEN I SCREAM YOUR NAME’s debut release could be described with one word it would be: “encouraging”. There’s a strong nod towards the more atmospheric side of the genre, whilst there’s plenty of actual “rock” to get the juices flowing. It’s nothing particularly new, but the emphasis on songwriting and atmosphere does lend itself to an increased level of memorability. And if that’s not what makes for good music, then who knows what does?

“To Be Where There Is Pale Light” serves as a strong introduction to the world for THE WOLF HOWLS WHEN I SCREAM YOUR NAME, and can act as a solid springboard going forward. It proves that you don’t always need to be the heaviest or most depressing of bands in order to tackle that most final of subjects – good music can transcend the subject matter, and these guys are most definitely on the correct path. A decent bow on their first release – well worth keeping an eye out for in future.