Origin: Houston, Texas, USA  
Genres: Christian Metal, Hard Rock
Official Site
Last update/review: January 4, 2016

Atomic Opera

It's nearly impossible to discuss Atomic Opera without also mentioning King's X or Galactic Cowboys in the same breath, as all three hail from the same city, all were originally mentored/produced by Sam Taylor, and all three specialize in rather unconventional hard rock with a noticeable emphasis on vocal harmonies. The road to the present for Atomic Opera was not an easy one. Immediately after releasing the critically acclaimed For Madmen Only in 1994, the record label (a subsidiary of Giant) folded, leaving the band in the lurch, and prompting the departure of two of the three members that comprised the band at that time. The remaining member, vocalist/guitarist John Hart, kept on going, recording Penguin Dust essentially as a solo project, then recruiting a new lineup and eventually attracting the interest of Metal Blade Records, who signed them in 2000. That year's Gospel Cola is perhaps the most eclectic release of the aforementioned trio of bands, as it retains the vocal trademarks but is decidely less mainstream-sounding. Lyrically, the band is squarely in the Christian camp, though for some reason the band is reluctant to assume the tag of "Christian metal band". This band is not for everyone, as their style definitely takes some getting used to, but they are quite intriguing. Though there was talk of a new album, and they did reunite for an anniversary gig in 2014, they are likely done as a formal band.

Last Lineup

Frank Hart


Kemper Crabb


Former Members/Guests

Jonathan Marshall

guitars/backing vocals

Jonas Velasco

bass/backing vocals

Ryan Birsinger

bass/backing vocals

Mark Poindexter

drums/backing vocals

John Simmons



For Madmen Only  
1994 Giant
  1. Joyride
  2. Justice
  3. Achilles' Heel
  4. I Know Better
  5. All Fall Down
  6. War Drum
  7. Blackness
  8. December
  9. This Side Of The Rainbow
  10. New Dreams
  • Frank Hart
  • Jonathan Marshall
  • Jonas Velasco
  • Mark Poindexter

Penguin Dust  
1997 self-released
  1. Make A God
  2. Stop the Rain
  3. Fade
  4. Thirst
  5. God Of Hate
  6. Spirit Of the Age
  7. November
  8. FreakShow
  9. WaterGrave
  10. FeverDream
  • Frank Hart
  • Kemper Crabb
  • Mark Poindexter

Alpha & Oranges (pre-1st album tracks)  
1999 self-released
  1. RainParade
  2. For Madmen Only
  3. All These Things
  4. FeverDream #1
  5. Magic Castle
  6. Love In Grey
  7. Meaningless Word
  8. Paper Tiger
  9. Spinning
  10. Let Go
  • Frank Hart
  • Kemper Crabb
  • Jonathan Marshall
  • Jonas Velasco
  • Mark Poindexter

Gospel Cola  
2000 Metal Blade
  1. The Circle is Closed
  2. Doxology
  3. Jesus Junk
  4. Love is as Strong as Death
  5. Malediction
  6. Muse
  7. My Head
  8. October
  9. Reiah
  10. Silence
  11. Stop My Heart
  12. WinterLand
  • Frank Hart
  • Kemper Crabb
  • Ryan Birsinger
  • John Simmons

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