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Gospel Cola

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Album Review

Atomic Opera's third release finds the band on the Metal Blade label, the same that hosts fellow Texans King's X and the Galactic Cowboys. Founder and remaining original member Frank Hart lightened his load by adding the talents of Kemper Crabb (mandolin), Ryan Birsinger (bass), and Joe Simmons (drums). The result is a more cohesive and professional-sounding recording than the previous all-Hart effort, Penguin Dust. The heavy Christian themes remain and are delivered in an unapologetic and sincere manner. The music itself is similar to King's X, but doesn't pack quite the same punch. The group's sound draws upon folk, progressive metal, and Christian rock influences and manages to produce a fairly original sound. A decent release by a band who is not afraid to mention the "G" word and, in fact, relishes in it. For those who may be curious from a musical standpoint only, there just isn't enough happening here to make it worth it. This is an all-or-nothing listening experience and is for distinct tastes only.

Customer Reviews

Great Record!

Atomic Opera's Gospel Cola is a great record full of great music and thought provoking lyrics. Although it was released on Metal Blade records this isn't the average metal record. Highlights include: Jesus Junk, Winterland, Malediction, Love Is As Strong As Death, & Doxology.

All Music Guide, eh?

Um, my name is not Joe.

Sadly underrated

Atomic Opera has been around for years. When King's X and Galactic Cowboys were hitting their stride, Atomic Opera was right there with them. I often heard those three bands mentioned in the same sentence. But I've never understood how such great music can be heard by so few people. The lineup has changed since For Madmen Only (their big label debut), but they don't pack any less of a punch. Standouts for me include WinterLand (fans of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will love the nods to that book), Jesus Junk, Muse and the haunting Love is as Strong as Death. For fans of King's X and the now disbanded Galactic Cowboys, you owe it to yourself to download Gospel Cola right now. And yes, All Music has the drummer wrong. His name is Johnny, not Joe!


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Inspired by the Beatles/Queen-influenced progressive metal and spiritual focus of King's X (with whom he attended church while living in Springfield, MO), guitarist/vocalist/cellist Frank Hart founded Atomic Opera in Houston in the early '90s. With a lineup also featuring rhythm guitarist Jonathan Marshal, bassist Jonas Velasco, and drummer Mark Poindexter, Atomic Opera signed to the Giant subsidiary Collision Arts and recorded their 1994 debut album For Madmen Only with producer Sam Taylor. Though...
Full Bio
Gospel Cola, Atomic Opera
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Apr 25, 2000

Customer Ratings