[By: Karim Tarek]

Hailing from Manama, Bahrain, Smouldering In Forgotten is one of the most brutal, face- pummeling Arabian bands out there. They started off in 2005 as a Black Metal band, released a demo entitled “The Bonfire of the Apocalypse”, followed by their Black Metal debut full-length, “Legions Into Black Flames”, then in 2007, they drifted towards a rather different musical approach on their 2010 gem “I, Devourer”, chiefly delivering Blackened Death Metal tunes that kind of remind me, personally, of Polish Metal gods, Behemoth.

They recently confirmed an appearance in Dubai, UAE; supporting German Technical Death Metal beasts, Obscura, on their highly anticipated gig in Dubai (presented by Spellbind Records) on the 23rd of this month alongside Lunacyst and Billy Bob’s Blood Drenched Brew.

As media partners for the event; we got the chance to catch up with the band amidst their pre-gig hustle and preparations to ask them a few questions about how excited they are about the gig and their future plans.
Here’s how it went:

Before I start, I should thank you all on behalf of Metality for taking the time to do this interview; it’s our pleasure to feature you, hope you’re all doing just fine.

Were doing great! It's our pleasure to do an interview with Metality. We are really proud of you guys promoting the middle eastern scene and doing such a great job! Keep that up!

Let’s start with the very recent stuff, the gig with Obscura, Lunacyst, and Billy Bob’s Blood Drenched Brew; how do you feel about sharing the stage with such a high profile band as Obscura?

Well what do you expect? We are super excited about that and can't wait for the day to come. Not only sharing the stage with such a great band but also enjoying Obscura's show is gonna be a blast!

How did everyone react when you first heard about the prospect of supporting Obscura live? And how are the preparations for the show going?

Hahaha I guess we all got excited and couldn't wait for the official announcement. What makes it even better is playing with our buddies from Lunacyst, which is kinda cool representing Bahrain to the Dubai crowd and showing them what Bahraini metalheads have to offer.
Preparations have been great so far although it was pretty hard during Ramadan and even harder because of work.
Yes, we all have full time jobs and 3 of us are shift workers. Imagine how hard it is to gather up and rehearse.

I’ve been a big fan of SIF for more than a year now and I’ve always had this question in mind; how did you all meet up and form the band, given you’re not in an active country in terms of Metal, a country that has a small scene and only couple of active bands?

That's your answer right there. We live in a small island where everyone knows each other and every metalhead knows every other metalhead. Small gigs and friends of friends I guess that's how we met, all through metal. The interests of certain genres of metal also sort of helped us form the band.

I know Busac and Mardus are the duo that formed the other well-known Bahraini band, Narjahanam; did that ever have an impact on Smouldering In Forgotten?

Narjahanam is actually a solo project by Mardus that he started a year before SIF. The idea in the beginning was to make Narjahanam a full band but not all members agreed with the idea so we decided to just keep Narjahanam and SIF two separate bands. SIF is our main band and Narjahanam is a studio project by members of SIF. Each band has it's own days in the week and this does not have an impact on either bands.

You used to play Black Metal back then in the days of “Legions Into Black Flames”, but you radically digressed to Blackened Death Metal or Black/Death Metal, which is why you remind me of Behemoth by the way; what influenced that change of style?

When we started the band, our aim was to play black metal and we did but later on we decided to ignore the boundaries of black metal and push it further into other genres of metal, adding a wider variety of sounds, which ended up changing our music for the better. We like to call it extreme metal which is in between black, death and thrash metal. Not necessarily blackened death metal. Or you can just simply call it Smouldering In Forgotten.

I hear you’re big fans of Goatwhore, what other bands influence you?

Marduk, Behemoth, Vader, Slayer, Bathory, Meshuggah, Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura, Just to name a few.
Goatwhore on the other hand used to be some sort of an influence on us when we first started. A lot of people think that because of the name "Smouldering in Forgotten" that we consider Goatwhore a big influence on us. We just liked how it sounded on that track "Upon this deathbed of cold fire" on Goatwhore's first album.

Did you start writing for the follow-up to "I, Devourer" yet? When are you planning on releasing a new record?

We did actually but are still in the early steps of writing. Hopefully by next year.

What's your opinion on the current Middle Eastern Metal scene? Do you have any suggestions to help it grow? Also, can you tell us more about the Bahraini scene and whether or not you get enough support there?

We think the middle eastern metal scene is great and is growing big day by day. The only thing we would like to suggest is for metal heads in this region should start listening and supporting local and regional bands as much as their favorite bands from Europe or the states. Buying their albums, attending their shows, wearing the merch to represent these regional bands.
As for the scene in Bahrain, it's very small but also growing. You see more bands and more shows coming up. Not that much of support from the scene but we don't expect much anyways. We know it's a small scene with a small number of metalheads.

What are your favorite bands from the Middle East?

Nervecell (UAE)
Perversion (UAE)
Creative Waste (KSA)
Al Namrood (KSA)
Kaoteon (Lebanon)
Inner Guilt (Lebanon)
Through Sunken Eyes (Bahrain)
Lunacyst (Bahrain)
Motor Militia (Bahrain)
Extinction Imminent (Bahrain)
Punks Not Patriots (Bahrain)

If you were to choose five bands to tour with, who would they be?

Marduk, Behemoth, Slayer, Immortal, Vader.

Thank you very much for your time; it’s been a pleasant opportunity and a great interview to conduct. Hope to have you here again on Metality, and wishing you a killer gig with Obscura, Lunacyst, and Billy Bob’s Blood Drenched Brew! The words are all yours now, if you want to share anything with Metality readers.

Stay tuned for more from SIF. Keep supporting metal and we will see you all in the pits \m/

[Catch SMOULDERING IN FORGOTTEN on September 23rd in Dubai, UAE, when they support German progressive death metal heavyweights OBSCURA as part of the band's current "Middle East/South East Asia tour" in support of their latest release "Omnivium;" out now via Relapse Records. For more details, visit the event's official page by clicking here!]

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