Possessed : May 11, 2023 @ The Granada Theater in Dallas, TX

Fresh off a headlining appearance at the Carolina Chainsaw Massacre in Greensboro, Possessed brought their Oblivion US Tour to the Granada Theater in Dallas. It was the band’s second night in Texas but third night of the tour. 

The 16 – date tour route sees Possessed hitting Austin, Dallas and San Antonio but not Houston. The band was the Friday night headliners for Houston’s Hell’s Heroes V in late March.

Starting with Austin date, Possessed will have a run of 15 shows non-stop with no days off with the final show in Tampa.

Once arriving in Austin for the second date on the tour, Portland’s UADA and Dallas based The Black Moriah joined. Local support for the night came from Wyrm Chasm.

The show billing was a bit odd with the UADA, The Black Moriah and Wyrm Chasm. Odd not in the sense of the musical combination of the three but more in the dialog aspect. Meaning, there was very minimal interaction from the stage to the audience from all the support acts.

The only interaction came from The Black Moriah and that in itself was minimal. 

The upside to minimal dialog, each band let their music speak for itself. This is especially true for Portland’s UADA, main support on the tour.

Wyrm Chasm delivered a nonstop set blast of black metal with a saturation in purples, blues and greens. At the end, the band did receive notable approval with a hefty applause. 

Local support band Wyrm Chasm. Photo by Brian McLean

Dallas’ own The Black Moriah and their desperado, desert traversing, gun slinging theme quickly changed the atmosphere. If there were swinging saloon doors, they would have been ripped from the hinges on the first chords.

The band is touring in support of their latest release, Desert Hymns & Funeral Grins. Their sound pays homage to the fury of bands like Kreator, Bathory and Venom to name a few but with an outlaw Texas twist. 

The animation and wide-eyes of The Mad Arab enhanced his presence. Guns in holsters, black sharpshooter hats and sounds of angry rattlesnakes only solidified the whole presentation.

Zawicizuz’s black sharpshooter hat adds to the Texas outlaw vibe for The Black Moriah. Photo by Brian McLean.

Even though The Mad Arab appears to be crazy from west Texas desert exposure, he did coherently speak with the crowd. 

UADA took to the stage in all black and completely back lit in a sea of purple, bright white and fog. For the duration of their set, the band remained backlit and fog poured on a consistent basis. There was no front stage lighting at all. 

The face covering hoods allowed for complete anonymity, a tenet central to the band’s image. As mentioned, if there was a band to let their music speak for itself, it was UADA’s set. 

The band utilized all three releases for their set. Three songs were pulled from Djinn, their 2020 release, the title track, “Great Mirage” and “Absence of Matter.” Only one track from their second release, Cult from a Dying Sun was in the set bridging the set’s back end. 

The remaining portion of the set was pulled from 2016’s Devoid of Light, the crushing “Black Autumn, White Spring.” It was a fitting song to bring closure to the band’s darkened and anonymous set. What remained after UADA’s departure though was a lingering white smoke.

UADA remained backlit through their entire set. Photo by Brian McLean

The opening of a set of doors next to a service bar let the white haze escape.

Possessed often cited as originators of Death Metal promptly took the stage at 10:30. Tolling bells, suspenseful orchestrations and cries of agony in “Chant of Oblivion” prepped the crowd.

Fronted by original member Jeff Becerra, Possessed launched into “No More Room in Hell” from their 2019’s Revelations of Oblivion.

The band relied on material from the 2019 release for a solid portion of their set. “Damned,” “Shadowcult” and “Graven” were additional selections from the band’s latest release.

Classics such as “The Exorcist,” “Pentagram” and “Fallen Angel,” all from the 1985 debut Seven Churches, were blasted.

Only one track from Beyond the Gates, “Tribulation” was part of the set with two coming from The Eyes of Horror EP.

Wheeling around on stage, Becerra sounded great. He hasn’t lost that ferocious growl he quickly became known for fronting Possessed from day one. The band itself was tight from the first note.

What’s noble of Becerra is that he still possesses the heart, soul and gratefulness of being on stage. He frequently interacts with those headbanging, thrashing away or just enjoying themselves in the crowd. Early on, he asked the crowd how the sound was. It’s not an anomaly for him to do that, he did it in Houston. 

Jeff Becerra acknowledges a fan on the front row. Photo by Brian McLean

Becerra sincerely cares about the quality of the performance Possessed delivers. There will be no disappointment following a Possessed show. That’s exactly what happened Thursday night at the Granada Theater.

Add to the fact, Becerra will greet fans outside the tour bus following the show. To him it may just be part of being friendly and giving back, to others, it’s a really big deal. Simply, Becerra is a dignitary for death metal relations.

With only 16 dates on the tour, it’s a serious suggestion to catch the Oblivions US Tour.

Changing of the Granada Theater marquee to reflect upcoming shows. Photo by Brian McLean