The Word of Life - Further Ahead. 1992 Sweden

For a short period in the early to mid 1990's, a collective of Swedish musicians decided to relive the past and pushed on with creating improvisational psychedelic rock music similar to the early 70's masters such as International Harvester and Algarnas Tradgard. Local acts such as S.T. Mikael, Adam, Stefan, and The Entheogens all recorded for the underground label Xotic Mind during this era. The primary difference between the modern day purveyors and the 1970's masters is the one-dimensional nature of the proceedings. This trait can be attributed to the fact that most of these albums are solo projects with guest musicians, rather than cohesive band units.

One of the highlights on the label were The Word of Life, a band lead by Mans P. Mansson, a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, sitar, synthesizers, percussion, as well as taking on vocal duties. He is joined by many guests, though most important is the fine flute work provided by Anna Nystom. On the debut Further Ahead, Mansson manages to create a varied improvisational psychedelic album. Long burning jams such as 'Space Fu?king' and 'Can You Feel It - Flowing Free' are offset by calm flute and hand percussion ragas like 'The Devil'. What one notices with repeated listens is the need for a judicious editor (a problem for many solo ventures). Most of the jams meander on for far too long and the inclusion of a couple of Earthy-Country-Bumpkin vocal tracks with Louisiana-front-porch harmonica are in complete contrast to the hazy heady cosmic aspirations the album aspires to be. All the same, the album works on many levels, most notably the trance-like jams, which can get quite intense as they penetrate. The guitar tone is super-fuzz-loud and the percussion is particularly active (always a good sign). Recommended for all fans of Krautrock, space rock, and the early 70s Swedish pioneer groups as mentioned above.

Personal collection
CD: 1992 Satori (UK)

The Word of Life is a group I've known about since their inception. I first purchased Further Ahead on LP (top photo), which featured a paste-on cover. I sold it once I obtained the CD (second photo). I'm not entirely convinced the CD is from 1992, but that's the date appended on all the online discographies. The CD itself doesn't list a date, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out it came out a few years later (I think I would have purchased the CD initially rather than the LP if that was the case).

Spyros adds: "It is strange to think that Mans P. Mansson played in metal bands (he even guested on Candlemass recordings). The CD of "Further Ahead" came later than the LP. Must be late 1993 or early 1994, because that was when I saw it first time at a very updated local psych record store. I remember it puzzled me that it had a different cover to the LP, which I owned upon it's release..."

Last listen: 2014

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