This is the debut ep by Seattle duo Hallows and is being released on cassette by Phage Tapes so we can all listen to it on our walkman's like I did with countless other Goth albums in the 1980's and they are certainly indebted to the 1980's goth sound although they do also update it and cross it with a lot of darkwave.
From the opening notes of Out Of Sync it's obvious they are influenced by Kraftwerk, Low Era Bowie as this is a short synth instrumental with a slightly dark wave edge to it.
The title track Subtle sounds like they have updated Play Dead's sound to be ready for dancefloor action at modern Goth/EDM clubs with good interplay between the female and male vocals it's doomy but not despairing and would be pretty easy to dance too especially the bit that feels like it's building towards a momentous drop.
The Call/Ravenous feels like the darker end of Depeche Mode as it slowly moves it way into your mind and I understand why they might name check Clan Of Xymox in the press release but I'd much rather listen to this than any of the Clan Of Xymox stuff I have as there is more going on and the layers of the music work almost like they have made it for the cyber goth scene.
In A Sleeping World is like a dancefloor Bauhaus tune crossed with some Terminal Gods this has a good imperious sound to the synths that work well with the somnambulant vocals. Then in the middle part it goes a bit Alice on us, which is never a bad thing, only I found myself waiting for a vocal scream rather than the slow measured vocals that follow.
Far Too Gone starts slowly and ponderously becoming dark dank and foreboding before the drum machine kicks in and it starts to build as we try to work out what is far Too Gone and can there be some redemption, either way the vocals sound like they were recorded in a closet to give them that feeling of claustrophobia and angst to make the song work it's intriguing.
Find out more at https://phagetapes.miiduu.com/hallows-quotsubtlequot-c22 https://hallows.bandcamp.com/album/subtle