Flickertista, 2008

The Daily Vault
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer



Product is an act that takes the art of concept albums to Wikipedia level. In the same vein as the band’s other records, all of which are based on historical figures – On Water is about the story of Jacob Nagle, a young sailor during the American Revolution; Aire is inspired by Galileo; The Fire is based on the life of Nero – is Earth, an album inspired by the life and works of Nikola Tesla.

Earth flows as an autobiographical narrative, and beneath the sometimes pedantic accounts of Tesla’s life and works is a brilliant musical foundation. The duo, made up by Arman Christoff Boyles and Scott Rader, is creative with their music, taking care not to let the meticulously factual – and hence overly academic – lyrics become boring chapters out of a history book.

Earth brims with the vibrancy of a well-made concept record, balancing the weight of its theme with complementing music that never gets too self-indulgent.

Stylistically, this album inherits from a diverse range of influences. It seems to be in a constant state of flux with its facile switching between genres (prog rock, electronica, art rock, folk rock), indulging in a rich canvas of shifting mood and setting up for a dramatic listening experience.

Even with its intelligent repetition of concepts, as evidenced by the breezy chorus of the opening track “America Pt.1,” which transforms into a song as a continuation of the subsequent track “Edison,” and usage of sound-bytes as avenues into and out of tracks, Earth is not the kind of progressive record, one would associate with bands like Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Tool, Porcupine Tree and the like. Unlike the others, Product’s music is least driven by unconventional rhythmic meters or extraordinary music-playing; they are not a band of exceptionally gifted or brazenly flamboyant musicians.

The disc’s dark and languorous sound has a close resemblance with the Elbow’s aberrant folk-rock debut, the gloomy Asleep In The Back. Even Boyles’ vocals have the same laidback, scruffy, and emotional quality to those of Elbow’s Guy Garvey, and the cuts “Edison,” “Earth,” and “War Machines” are, in fact, folk-tinged, different from a stereotypical “progressive” sound. The track-segues and instrumentals (“1893 World’s Fair,” “Message”) are sparsely ambient with lush layers of towering synthesizers.

The musical complexity of Earth is as fascinating as its concept. The way in which the band weaves the various stylistic elements into the theme of the record is superb. A lesson in history never sounded so cool.

Rating: A


(Translated from Dutch)

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a physicist and some say the true inventor of radio. He was born in a village in present-day Croatia, although his parents are Serbian. He studied physics in Prague and then went including working in France and Germany. In 1884 he emigrated to the United States, where he took a job at General Electric, the company of Thomas Edison.

About the relationship between the young Edison and Tesla is a funny anecdote. Edison could not solve a particular problem, so he praised a prize for those who would come with the solution. Tesla solved the problem in a snap on, and strangely enough the Edison refused to pay it. The Tesla got indignant and started working at rival George Westinghouse. That was good, because Westinghouse focused on the delivery of alternating current, which Edison was an advocate of direct current. Westinghouse won the competition, thanks to improvements in Tesla.

The life and the many inventions and discoveries of Nikola Tesla are also the subjects of the concept album "Earth" Product of the U.S. project, consisting of the multi-instrumentalist Armand Christoff Boyles, responsible for all material, and drummer Scott Rader. Together they entertain on a small scale all about the prog community nearly ten years with handsome invented, highly elaborate and technically seated prog gems. That go as it were, the four elements, water, air, fire and earth, in random order. This is already the fourth section and it stands head and shoulders above the other, already quite impressive portions.

What is particularly admired the gritty, but crystal clear production of this product that we released on CD. This ensures that the "nature" of the plate better justice to. As the voice of Boyles including almost mumbling and whispering is getting 'Earth' a very pleasant sultry and exciting atmosphere. That is (fortunately!) Reinforced by very strong song material, suggesting that no note is pointless, no theme and no building remains unfinished with no climax comes. It is the kind of atmosphere that fans of plate Gazpacho, No-Man, and Lunatic Soul airbag will eat, and where fans of Porcupine Tree and Pineapple Thief even agree to listen to.

What is also striking emphasis on finished, mature compositions, where time is taken. Consider such a beautiful song like White Dove, a ballad by his great building slowly but surely under your skin crawl. Goosebumps! But Strange Transmission, with its violent eruptions-Hammond, is a brilliant climax to a plate in each other is so clever, that highlights speak almost an insult.

In the previous section, "The Fire" I wrote that I was curious to the actual views and feelings of Boyles. I am ashamed to post this comment, because I rarely heard in "Earth" so many hidden and subtle emotion. "Earth" is so good that I regret that no more elements exist.

But listen especially yourself!

Markwin Meeuws



Review by Jurriaan Hage, Axiom of Choice

Artist: Product
Title: The Fire
Label: Cyclops CYCL 147
Length(s): 62 minutes
Year(s) of release: 2005
Month of review: [11/2005]

Product is a duo that is getting quite a name. I have no idea what the prog audience thinks of them, but the reviews are quite positive on the whole. And deservedly so. This album is a concept album about the life of roman emperor Nero, which I guess also explains the title of the album.

The music
From The Tall Tower I is dark ambient style opener. The sound is as yet very sparse, but slowly we get underway. The theme is strong, a bit Floydian mellow, and carrying plenty of emotion. The church bells add nicely to this atmosphere. It Begins continues the Floydian feel. We also get some vocals here, somberly sung using a rather low voice. Boyles is not the best of singers, especially in this region, but when he goes a bit higher he turns out to have a pleasant voice, similar to that of the singer of The Blue Nile. His voice does continue to sound wavery and fragile. Musically, I hear parallels not only with Floyd, but also with modern day Marillion in a melancholy mood. The guitar resonates quite a bit, lending a vibrant feel to the music.

World Of Nero is much rowdier, with some tense rhythm guitar work, as if the clock is ticking. Then we flow into catchy melodic rock that we find also with bands such as Gazpacho, Pineapple Thief and the like. Product is of a more epic character and is also a band who works more on the atmosphere side of things. This is further exemplified on Netting and Don't Talk, which all have a dark and moody atmosphere and rather pronounced percussion.

All Is All is a somewhat up-beat and poppy track, but the somber sheen stays over the track the whole way. Where Or Why continues the softer somber, acousticy and melodic line of this album. The vocalist sounds quite tragic here. From This Tall Tower II seems an instrumental, with sound effects mostly, but halfway we get some spoken vocals, that become more and more 'sung'. In fact, it turns into a majestic and tragic piece of work.

Product knows how to form atmospheric music into songs. Jaded Love I is no exception. There is the moodiness that pervades the whole album, The Blue Nile/No-Man style vocals, a bit crooner like even. The vocals are mainly in the lower regions, and not always that melodic. The end of the song is uplifting as the organs set in.

Before we come to the second part of Jaded Love, first we encounter Age, a very soundtrackish piece. Jaded Love II then opens with a laid back guitar solo. Then the drummer starts to pound, and the music swells. It also dies, playfully with piano, to swell again. Excellent piece of work this. The manicy vocals at the end remind of Steve Hogarth, but a bit lower.
Isis is another acoustic guitar dominated piece, while Haze is a more orchestral piece, although still subdued. The use of (synth) strings here reveals a seventies singersongwriter tendency similar to No-Man. Towards the end, the music builds up, and becomes louder and more forceful.

It Ends sounds quite mean by comparison. Listen to that rhythm guitar softly grinding. It announces it seems, the evil that is to come. The music becomes a bit more bouncy then, the guitar is slightly psychedelic, and effect rich.

The Fire is the closer and it is actually quite long. It opens slowly with low acoustic guitar, reminding me of the opening of Marillion's Brave. The vocals are vocoded, wavery. Slowly, the momentum increases, although the music never breaks loose or anything, do not expect this kind of easy climax. The music does increase in fullness and can be quite majestic.

I guess Product is best described as a combination of Marillion's Brave, No-Man and Pink Floyd: soft and melodic, laid back even, but with occasional outbursts. The music is quite song oriented, underneath, with plenty of acoustic oriented songs. The music is not difficult to like, I found, but the details need close listening, like Brave an album to listen to in isolation. The third chapter in the life of Product is again a good one. Let us hope the book is not yet closed. If you have not discovered them yet, and the names above strike a chord, it is time to check them out. It is hard to point out high points, the album is more like a bath to immerse in.


DPRP - Dutch Progressive Rock Page
2005 Vol. 42

Pretentious, complicated and boring: could be a first impression of this new Product album. Pretentious because of the subject matter of this album: the fall of the Roman Empire. Complicated because of all the small fragments of music floating into the air. Boring because these fragments have neither start nor finish. But that is only a first impression, once you are able to recognize that the fragments do indeed create melodies, you will also find that these fragments floating around, create an atmosphere with just modest musical elements. Some elements return throughout the album, a mark of a true concept album. Listening to the album in this way shows this new album, sprung from the mind of Arman Christoff Boyle, is one to cherish and listen to again and again. Isn't it always like that: dislike it first grow to really love it?

From This Tall Tower I introduces the story with a couple of drum sounds, it then goes into a imminent guitar and bell sound. Soon taken over by It Begins which is the first instant that Arman Christoff Boyle's very good voice can be heard. Fragile at some points while firm at others. Nero notices the fire has begun. World Of Nero has a very nice build up, it has what could be called a controlled musical breakout. A senator sings of Nero's way of doing things. I have to say that Boyle's voice on occasion reminds of Neil Young and this comparison is most evident on Netting because the acoustic guitar sound could also be of Young's hand.

Don't Talk mainly creates atmosphere although the breaks contains a very nice melody. All Is All starts of with a banjo (?) sound and a very nice drum rhythm - the chorus is very catchy. Where Or Why is a more synthesizer and vocals oriented track. But as in the other tracks, again the music is most important not one single instrument. From This Tall Tower II continues where the first part left off. Jaded Love I starts with the sound of a crackling fire, a clear guitar is faded for a more rhythmic part and the song becomes forceful towards the end. Age is a small interlude to Jaded Love II a track that continues the first part by repeating the last two refrains. Isis is a very intimate track with vocals most prominent. Haze is also very intimate mostly because of (again) the vocals and the acoustic guitar. Nero is aware everyone has gone, no one there to protect him so: It Ends. The Fire closes the album, it has a dramatic atmosphere.

A lot is happening throughout the album and it is like music is always waiting to burst into existence. It is that tension that gives the music it's interesting quality (it also the thing not obvious at first). Even when the music bursts into a heavier guitar sound, they are not loosing control, the rougher parts are carefully constructed. The sound quality is very good. All the instruments are very balanced and the sound is very clear. Because Product consists of two members only, I assume a number of overdubs have been done to create this music. I can't image they have created this rich sound in another way.

Product compares their music to Pink Floyd and Salem Hill. For the Pink Floyd part: it is an accurate comparison. The guitar lines are much like Dave Gilmour. Salem Hill I am ashamed to say is not in my collection. I had not heard of Product before, something I find amazing after hearing this album. If their other albums are as good as this one those should also be checked out. If you are interested in more subdued, well thought of progressive rock and don't expect guitars ripping through your speakers Product should be in your collection. The first lines of this review are of course quite nasty, hopefully they managed to get your attention Product deserves it.

Conclusion: 7.5 out of 10



from Cyclops (our label)

Those who bought their last album, Aire, will need no introduction to this stunning band. Product produce a sophisticated progressive with haunting melodies created by beautifully crafted songs and lyrics, along with instrumental sections which evolve into classic themes. From quiet moods Floydian guitar attacks appear and grow into darker pieces before lightness again conquers with swirling keyboards and guitars, all this laid on top of some of the most intelligent use of percussives to be found.
Once again Product have produced a concept work, this time based on the life of Nero, and the group comparisons to Pink Floyd/Salem Hill will give you an idea of their class.
One to savour again and again.


Music in Belgium

PRODUCT - The Fire
Product est le projet musical de Arman Christoff Boyles (chant, guitares, claviers) et Scott Rader (batterie, basse, backing vocals). Ces deux californiens ont commencé à travailler ensemble en 1990. Ils ont déjà deux albums à leur actif, "On Water" sorti en 2000 et "Aire" sorti en 2003.
Inspirés par les problèmes politiques et la guerre, ce nouvel album est basé sur le monde complexe de Néron. L'album est divisé en deux parties représentant chacune un acte de la pièce. L'ensemble nous plonge dans un monde d'intrigue au temps des Romains. Mais, cela est-il bien loin de notre monde à nous?
L'ambiance se fait mystérieuse et mélancolique. Les intrigues se font ressentir. On pense souvent à Pink Floyd pour les couleurs et les douceurs. La batterie joue un grand rôle l'air de rien car elle soutient l'ambiance et de bien belle façon. A d'autres moments, comme pour "Where or Why", cela se fait dans une ambiance acoustique très douce qui pourrait rappeler certains Anthony Phillips.
La mélancolie et les couleurs sombres sont de rigueur. L'acte II l'est particulièrement avec une voix très grave et lancinante, voire plaintive, et des tapis de strings. Les tons se montrent alors parfois agressifs amplifiant ainsi notre impression de plonger en plein drame. Quant à la finale "The Fire", de près de neuf minutes, elle nous emportera de tout son long au sein de son enveloppante mélodie.
Avec ce troisième album, Product nous offre un rock progressif qui devrait plaire aux amateurs de Pink Floyd, Anthony Phillips et de musiques aux tons mélancoliques et lancinants.
Pays: US
Cyclops CYCL 147
Sortie: 2005/03/28
Ajouté: 31-Oct-2005


Richard Guay

Dans le numéro de décembre 2003, je vous avais fait découvert cet
extraordinaire duo de Los Angeles par leur deuxième album, Aire, auquel j'
avais apposé une Sélection Québec Audio & Vidéo. J'avais été alors
littéralement estomaqué par cet opus innovateur. C'est donc avec une anxiété
évidente que j'attendais le troisième essai d'Arman Christoff Boyles (voix,
guitares, claviers) et de Scott Rader (batterie, basse). Hé bien, si le
terme « perfection » doit être apposé à un album de rock progressif cette
année, je tiens à ce que ce soit celui-là! Dernier maillon d'une trilogie
(On Water-Aire-The Fire) déjà passablement excitante, The Fire nous entraîne
dans un univers très intimiste où se côtoient rythmes exotiques, accords
recherchés, variations ethniques et expérimentations osées, tout ça sur un
fond de rock progressif irréprochable. Alors que plusieurs groupes
construisent leur musique sur des fondations connues et éprouvées, certains,
comme Product, n'hésiteront pas à réinventer, à essayer de nouveaux
arrangements, quitte à surprendre, déranger, voire provoquer l'auditeur.
Plus terre à terre que ses prédécesseurs mais tout aussi audacieux, l'opus
nous replonge de plus belle dans l'univers trouble et sombre de ces deux
protagonistes plus grands que nature qui effraient, séduisent et fascinent
en même temps. Savant amalgame de progressif, de art rock et de musique du
monde, cet album est, à l'instar de Aire, divisé en quinze pièces reliées
entre elles par un concept existentiel. Les paroles impénétrables et
énigmatiques de Boyles sont très bien servies par sa voix calme et lente de
même que par celles de deux gentilles sirènes. The Fire est à mon avis les
plus réussi de la trilogie, ce qui n'est pas peu dire compte tenu de la
qualité des deux autres.




Axiom Of Choice
© Roberto Lambooy

The music
In the recent past several bands (such as Anathema, Opeth and Radiohead) have come up with albums that blend several related styles of music, including rock, metal, alt and progressive, creating a musical vein that is new yet familiar. A style that is rock, yet atmospheric. This album here by Product catches the wave. Aside from that there is a certain melancholy, that is most often perceived in Swedish music, and not unlike T's Naive (albeit less pained).

None of the tracks is very long, staying away from the traditional epics. This could be construed as a more poppy approach, which is more or less true as far the build up of songs is concerned, yet the complexity of the songs, both rhythmically and melodically easily demonstrates the opposite. Apart from that, such tracks as Value Of Gold smoothly demonstrate that there is room for build up and climaxing within five minutes (hey, focus, I'm talking about music here). Having said all that, this album is something of a concept album, devided into two acts. This is reflected in the fact that the songs are well integrated, the album feels more like "an album" than it does like the collection of songs most albums are.

Boyles voice is full and easily brings across any emotions. This suppleness in performance is displayed in other aspects too, never does the music sound as if compromises were made. It sounds very much like it was played the way it was intended.

I liked the bands debut On Water, but it didn't particularly strike me. This album does. The well integrated overall sound, the melancholy, combined with expressive strength makes for an album that can be listened to at both a conscious and more distant mode. Late as it may be, this album clearly is an addition to my top five over the past year.


Dutch Progressive Rock Page (DPRP)
Tom De Val

Product consists of songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Arman Christoff Boyles and bassist/drummer Scott Rader, who, in their own words, create ‘historically based musical theatre geared towards the ears and mind’. In essence, this means that Product are creators of that old favourite of progressive rock artists, the concept album.
Product have released two albums to date. Their first, On Water, was originally issued in 2000, yet the band state that they were unhappy with the limited distribution of it, so appear to be doing some re-promotion to tie in with the release of the new album Aire (on the Cyclops label).

On Water is set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, and is based on a journal by a young sailor named Jacob Nagle, focussing on the confused, surreal and unsettling reflections as he slowly drowns. It is hardly upbeat material, and Product have produced a dark, constantly shifting musical backdrop to these troubled recollections. Instrumentation is used primarily to create atmosphere, and it’s rather disingenuous to look at individual ‘songs’ in general as this is very much a whole piece, to be listened to in totality. Having said that, there are some tracks that stand out in their own right, in particular You, a powerful ballad with a fine duet between Boyles and guest vocalist Marianne Joan.

Much of the material could be labelled melancholic and balladic, but there are regular shifts into heavier, industrial flavoured territory, where distorted guitars and clanking drumbeats rule the roost. This shift, often very abrupt (as in Eye To Eye) can be disconcerting, which I’m sure is intended given the nature of the story. The nautical theme is well used throughout, giving the album a feeling of unity, and also lending itself to certain musical styles (not least the sea-shanty-esque romp Yardarm To Yardarm).

Aire, the band’s most recent album, is based on the life of Galileo, and purports to examine ‘the internal and external conflict between church, science and politics’. The setting and context of the album is not so clearly defined this time, but this is more than made up for by the fact that the band have come up with stronger, more varied and accessible material, especially in rockier, mid-tempo tracks such as Age Of Reason and Value Of Gold which show a stronger sense of melody, and there is an epic sweep to the album that I felt was missing on On Water.

Influence-wise, the main ones I identified on both albums were Salem Hill, latter-day Porcupine Tree, late seventies Pink Floyd and mid-90’s Marillion – indeed, Boyles’ expressive voice has a definite echo of Steve Hogarth’s, particular in the quieter, more reflective sections. Other points of reference include more mainstream acts such as Radiohead and Elbow, and the now-defunct avant-garde popsters Talk Talk – the latter’s influence being particularly noticeable in the way that silence and the ‘less is more’ ethic are utilised.

Overall, these aren’t the easiest albums to listen to, and the starkness and minimalism of some of the material may alienate some people, but it’s worth persevering as there is some fine music here. If asked to recommend one over the other I would go for Aire, due to its (relative) accessibility and the stronger songwriting, but in all honesty if you like one you’ll probably want the other, as both are stylistically similar. Ones for those into the darker side of prog.

On Water: 6.5 out of 10
Aire: 7 out of 10


Paradox One

"Aire" is a sprawling epic in two parts over 17 tracks of between 2 and 5 minutes produced, amazingly, by just two musicians (backed by guests on a few tracks): Arman Christoff Boyles, composer, vocalist, guitarist and keyboards and Scott Rader who takes care of the entire rhythm section. I hear many influences: 'Brave' era Marillion (mostly), 'Discipline' era Crimson, No Man. Adventurous, melodic, conceptual prog rock. (Cyclops Records).

Progressive World
Product: AIRE
Reviewed by: Stephanie Sollow, March 2004

If ever the term moody could be used to describe a piece, or suite, of music, it is now with Product's second release, Aire. At least, that's the initial impression. The sonic palette is dark, the mood mostly somber and at the end you aren't sure if you like it or not. While the music occasionally breaks out of its musical malaise, you are left with the feeling that you have spent an hour in another world that never becomes fully formed. That is, there is a dream-like atmosphere that permeates the entire release, perhaps reflective of the internal nature of the concept. Part of moodiness is due to the understated - and often dreary - vocals from Product's driving force, Arman Christoff Boyles. Whereas On Water bore striking resemblance to Marillion (and "Memory Of Water" specifically), there is significantly less of that here, so little that it bears mention only for comparison purposes between the two albums. In a very general and non-specific way, Pink Floyd came to mind. By that, no one specific track comes to mind, but rather a mood or effect.

Aire is a concept album based on the life of Galileo "outlining the basic struggle between church and science in a somewhat personal manner…" writes Boyles at the band's website. Galileo was an inventor of many things, one of which was the telescope - at least, a better telescope, which magnified at 20x (other telescopes invented in Europe at the time were 3x). This led him to make astronomical discoveries: "With this telescope, he was able to look at the moon, discover the four satellites of Jupiter, observe a supernova, verify the phases of Venus, and discover sunspots. His discoveries proved the Copernican system which states that the earth and other planets revolve around the sun. Prior to the Copernican system, it was held that the universe was geocentric, meaning the sun revolved around the earth."[1] It was his theories that brought him into conflict with the Catholic Church, and The Inquisitions. "[H]e was warned by Cardinal Bellarmine, under order of Pope Paul V, that he should not discuss or defend Copernican theories. In 1624, Galileo was assured by Pope Urban VIII that he could write about Copernican theory as long as he treated it as a mathematical proposition. However, with the printing of Galileo's book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was called to Rome in 1633 to face the Inquisition again. Galileo was found guilty of heresy for his Dialogue, and was sent to his home near Florence where he was to be under house arrest for the remainder of his life. "[2] Galileo died in 1642 at the age of 78. This provides the backdrop against which Boyles lays out his concept, and yet, it isn't a straight narrative. As Boyles writes, "Act one of the album is mostly about the basic frustrations of just trying to be someone of significance in a material world void of answers. Act two is the internal and external conflict between church, science and politics. Only in old age and death do the barriers finally dissolve."

The dynamics between somber and explosive is given right in the first track, "City Of Gold," where a sparse opening suddenly gives way to crashing percussion and bass. "Age Of Reason," which follows, is one of the livelier pieces and one of the few that recall Marillion, complete with crying guitar that evokes Afraid Of Sunrise-period Steve Rothery. "The Mighty Maze" contains some superb chiming, shimmering guitar work from Boyles on a surprisingly upbeat piece, and lyrically, it's positive, too, as the central character looks forward to the following day. If Boyles' vocal performance weren't as restrained, this song would really take flight. The rumbling percussive drive on "Here Comes Tomorrow" is palpable, reflecting the nervous energy the character feels, maybe Product's most energetic moment. It gives this moment an urgency the rest of the album doesn't have -- and our character is ready, and anxious about, presenting his theories. "Still Here" is the most beautiful moment, especially the tinkling piano that is featured in this piece. Though the pace is very relaxed, you can almost imagine the character (and pianist) alone on the darkened stage, only a spotlight on. Boyles here is accompanied by guest Bob Young on a particularly warm, yet subtle, violin. Haunting, this piece is. Though much more sparse, "Wonderful Dreamers" is just as haunting.

Another rockier piece is "The Value Of Gold," (that we're all weighed down by our reward for keeping silent is the theme here). Tom Petty came to mind (or the Byrds) at the beginning, though thicker, darker in tone. Hmm… Petty by way of Evergrey maybe, jangly guitars but dark, emotive vocal delivery. Or maybe a darkwave band… Plucked acoustic and atmospheric keys provide the sparse backdrop to "Other Worlds," another haunting track, that at about 2 and half minutes in, explodes with a waterfall of sound - guitar, percussion… and it is this element that recalls Floyd, at least for me (and Marillion, but mostly Floyd). And Floyd will also come to mind during "Beyond All Reason," dark as the rest of the album, but the prominence of percussion and bass make this much heavier than the rest of the album. Actually, King Crimson also come to mind here, only the edges are a less angular. If every piece were like this, we'd be describing Product as a more metallic Crimson with keyboards.

As I said, at times Boyles' understated delivery comes across as very dreary, but it also gives it a haunting effect, especially given the deepness of Boyles' voice. Especially on "Fall," which may be Boyles' best vocal performance here. Instrumentally it's sparse, violin and percussion mainly, before the piece opens up, expands outward with keys, guitar filling out the mix.

Joining Boyles are Scott Rader on drums and bass, plus guests Bob Yang on violin (as mentioned), Chana Rothman and Melody Carpenter on vocals, Barry Smith on harmonica and resonator guitar, and Eric Gaskell on strings. That harmonica appears on the second to last track "Last Word" and seems overly lively compared to the rest of the piece and the rest of the album, though Smith doesn’t' let loose on it. It does add a bluesy element to the piece, which, with its use of acoustic guitar, has a tinge of a western feel to it.

Aire is not an album you will necessarily like on the first or second listen, but something about the music draws you in for longer looks and much of it will appeal to progressive rock fans (and some sections are very "neo" in sound). The weakest element is how Boyles sings, though I think he has a great tone. I just find I want something a little less dreary, since it makes it seem as if he's off key.
Rating: 3.25/5

Tales Of Wonder
Luca Alberici


... I invite to you to free your mind from anachronistic preconcepts and to taste this good example of progressive rock. Product is a progressive band from the U.S.A., moving around Arman Christoff Boyles and Scott Rader with the support of four othermusicians. These two guys define themselves as deeply interested in the novellistic power of music, that is, there must not be only music, but also a story to tell. This intellectual approach to music started in 2000 with their first release "On Water" and now goes on with "Aire". The next release is already planned and will be called "The Fire", followed by the fourth element, such as Earth.

Anyway let' s take Product' s most recent:"Aire" is to concept-album inspired by the life of italian scientist Galileo Galilei, who became famous for his incredible astronomic discoveries, although sadly recalled also for the Church' s dullness who never accepted them. There is a passage taken from "Other Worlds" which is perfect to understand the concept of this album: "Truth is a door, open and believe it. Not trying to destroy God. Just reveal him ".

From the musical comedy point of view the album is pretty well built around the story: each track flows always in search of dark and melanchonic athmospheres, even if sometimes, there' s much more strongness (with good guitar riffs, see "Value Of Gold"). The main influences of Product' s music are certainly Pink Floyd (The Wall period), Timothy Pure, Mostly Autumn (althought less folky) and something of Peter Gabriel post-Genesis.
An enjoyable album of refined and classic progressive rock, a good piece of music to listen with your mind free from any anachronistic pre-conceptions.


Le 5 Domande Di Radionotte

Product - Aire
Sito Internet:Product
di: Gabriele Desole
Non posso iniziare a parlare di questi "Product" e della loro nuova fatica in studio senza accennare al
precedente lavoro "On Water". Ebbene nel loro debut album i Product hanno gettato le fondamenta dei loro
percorsi musicali creando un concept inerente all'elemento dell'acqua. Ben si capisce dunque che "Aire"
è un lavoro indissolubilmente legato come continuità e contiguità musicali e narrative all'album d'esordio.
In "Aire" tuttavia il tema centrale delle liriche è incentrato sul personaggio storico Galileo, con una
analisi fredda e lucida di quelle che erano le relazioni tra questo esimio scienziato italiano e le autorità
che facevano il bello ed il cattivo tempo in Italia in quel periodo. Il rapporto travagliato di Galileo con
la chiesa, i soprusi e le ingiustizie da lui subite da parte di quest'ultima nel nome di una bieca e strenua difesa
dell'antropocentrismo, concezione che di li a poco sarebbe stata completamente demolita e dalla scienza stessa e dalla filosofia, si trasformano in "Aire" nel pretesto per raccontare la vita di Galileo. In questo background storico viene inserito l'elemento dell'aria che viene inteso come quella sostanza che separa l'uomo dalle stelle, e uscendo fuor di metafora, come le credenze comuni che ostacolano il raggiungimento della vera conoscenza. Come si può ben capire dunque i contenuti non sono di facile e immediato uso consumo e assimilazione, almeno per coloro che hanno con i testi un approccio superficiale andandosi a perdere una fetta importante del lavoro che sta dietro ad un album del genere.
D'altro canto anche la musica in senso stretto di questi "Product" risulta essere il frutto di un'attenta ricerca, dove
l'antico si unisce al nuovo; sono scomparse le piccole (ma dopotutto trascurabili) imperfezioni di "On Water". La musica 
acquista una grande compattezza ed'è una piacevole sorpresa ascoltare la bella voce di Arman Christoff Boyles vera anima di questo progetto sia come compositore che come paroliere d'eccezione. Rimane immutato il senso d'angoscia che trasuda dalle note dei Product in gran parte dell'album, se in "On water" era dovuto al fatto che sicuramente non è tra le cose migliori che possono capitare andare a morire tra i flutti dell'oceano, in "Aire" invece si vuole esprimere anche attraverso la musica quel travaglio interiore che Galileo provava mentre era a costretto a rinnegare in un odioso tribunale le proprie idee e le proprie convinzioni. Un lavoro di pregevole fattura ispirato da immagini e da suoni italiani che è anche una gradita riconferma ed una ulteriore evoluzione di questo gruppo.

poor translation of above:

I cannot begin to speak about this "Product" and their new hard work in study without to point out to
previous job "On Water". Well in theirs debut album the Product has thrown the foundations of theirs
musical distances creating a concept inherent to the element of the water. Very it is understood therefore that "Boost"
it is a job indissolubilmente legacy like musical and novellistic continuities and contiguità to the album of debut.
In "Boost" however the topic centers them of the lyric ones is centralized on the historical personage Galileo, with one
cold analysis and polishes of that they were the relations between this esimio Italian scientist and the authorities
that they made the beautiful one and the bad time in Italy in that period. The travagliato relationship of Galileo with
the church, the soprusi and the ingiustizie from he endured from part of this last in the name of one oblique and courageous defense
of the antropocentrismo, conception that of them little would have been completely demolished and from same science and the philosophy, is transformed in "Boost" in the pretest in order to tell the life of Galileo. In this background historical it comes inserted the element of the air that comes meant like that substance that separates the man from stars, and exiting fuor of metaphor, like the common sideboards that they hinder the attainment of the true acquaintance. As it can be very understood therefore the contents are not of easy and immediate use consumption and assimilation, at least for those who they have with the witnesses a superficial approach going itself to lose an important slice of the job that it is behind to a album of the sort.
Of other song also music in tight sense of this "Product" turns out to be the fruit of a careful search, where
the ancient one joins to the new one; the small (but after all negligible are passings) imperfections of "On Water". Music
spirit of this plan acquires a great compactness ed' is an pleasant surprise to listen to the beautiful voice of Arman Christoff true Boyles is like composer who like paroliere of exception. It remains immutato the anguish sense that trasuda from notes of the Product in great part of the album, if in "On water" it had had to the fact that sure is not between the better things that they can capitare to go to die between the flutti of the ocean, in "Boost" instead that inner suffering is wanted to be expressed also through music that Galileo tried while to she was forced to rinnegare in a hateful court the own ideas and the own convictions. A job of pregevole invoice inspired from images and Italian sounds that are also one appreciate reaffirmation and one ulterior evolution of this group.


Quebec Audio Video Magazine, Montreal Canada ( Nov 2003



Kinisis Records Nov 2000
“This is a new CD we’re very excited about. Primarily the work of songwriter/producer Arman Christoff Boyles, with help from musician/producer Scott Rader and several guests, this album tells a surreal story from the viewpoint of a drowning young sailor, set against the backdrop of the American Revolution. The level of originality is high... Vocally, Boyles is closer to Peter Gabriel (solo). Songs usually start off in acoustic singer-songwriter mode, with dry, close-miked vocals, then blossom into lush, majestic progressive rock. A wealth of subtle production effects warrants repeated listens... This is progressive rock for the new millennium.”
Larry Kolota (Kinisis Records)

Wondrous Stories
Journal of the Classic Rock Society Issue 110 March 2001
Product On Water Self Produced CD 01POW

On the face of it, a concept album the recollections of a drowning soldier during the American Revolution sound so bizarre as to be totally unworkable. However, if you combine this story with one of the finest progressive albums of the decade then you are on a surefire winner. Product is the brainchild of two musicians, Arman Christoff Boyles who has written the words and music and provides vocals, guitar and synth and Scott Rader with drums, bass and guitar.
The music is further fleshed out by the addition of several guest musicians to make this a total musical experience. On Water is a progressive rock masterpiece and very much inspired by the works of Pink Floyd, Genesis, Radiohead and Talk Talk genius Mark Hollis. Boyles has a wonderful, restrained voice that is very evocative and sends a shudder down your spine.
The music is complex, beautiful and haunting and simply carries you away with the concept. This is only the first of several concept albums that Boyles and Rader are working on and if On Water is the standard to which these guys works then we are looking at a serious major talent here. You simply must have this quite sublime album in your collection. The band is looking for a distribution outlet so any record companies out there should contact Arman Boyles as a matter of priority. January 2001Product - On Water Released: 2000 Label: self-released Cat. No.: 01POW Total Time: 62:24 Reviewed by: Stephanie Sollow, January 2001
The thing I was most struck by in listening to Product's On Water opus was how much it mixed in lyrical and sonic elements from Marillion's 1997 album This Strange Engine. Water was a preoccupation of Hogarth and Helmer in penning the Marillion album, and water plays a very large role here on On Water, a title that cleverly has multiple meanings: "on water" as in about water and "on water" as being on the surface. The album's concept touches on both these meanings - in "Eye For Eye" the lyric is: "A few rules on water / you have to know what her name is / you have to know where she's been / and you've got to know where she's going / you've got to trust her spells." The story of the concept concerns a ship and its crew, and is told from the point of view of a drowning sailor. And the setting is the Revolutionary War period, with elements said to be based on The Nagle Journals. What I especially think of in regards to Marillion is the tracks "Memory Of Water," "Estonia," and "This Strange Engine." So, if you can imagine a combination of all three, different elements at different times, then you'd have a pretty good idea what Product sound like. There are moments here, too, that made me think of mellow Porcupine Tree, and of Alan Parsons Project. However, being for the benefit of those not so familiar with the Marillion album (or Porcupine Tree or Alan Parsons Project), here is what you can expect. Much of this album is understated and very acoustic in some ways a very dreamy feel, as the gentle music carries you along ... like ocean waves. The guitars and synths set much of the atmosphere and tone, the latter adding bits of colour here and there, though starting things off with dark synth washes. There are scattered turbulent eddies (percussion mainly), but these never last long, once past the initial track which goes from acoustic guitar (Danny Flores) and voice (Arman Christoff Boyles) to angular bombast to mellow synths, angelic vocalizations (male and female) heightening the dramatic feel. These give way to martial drumming that cuts off suddenly. It is during the more bombastic moments that you can most hear the drum work of Scott Rader, who also plays bass and guitar on the album as well. In fact, the album features a total of three bassists, though one suspects not simultaneously. Besides Rader, Les Bloome and Todd Anisman contribute bass, the latter also contributing guitar. In the sonic mix, too, are French horn (Lee Ingram), violin (Nate Tuleson) and additional vocals by Marianne Joan. As much as Boyles sings like Steve Hogarth, during "Yardarm to Yardarm" I also thought of Rob Hyman, once vocalist with the Philadelphia band Hooters. And I'm reminded of one of the tracks off their debut, "Where Do The Children Go," which, unlike their "hits" from that disk, was relatively mellow. And, as I mentioned above, Boyles also sounds a little bit like Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson. This is not a happy album, as it concerns a very gloomy story -- drowning at sea is rarely a happy occasion. And yet, it's an album that drowns you in atmosphere. It's an album for those who spend as much time thinking about their music, about the themes and concepts, as they do listening to their music. If there are any negatives, it is only that this may be too subtle for it's own good. There are sections between tracks that are extremely quiet, where you either think there's nothing on the CD (the first 30-40 seconds) or that the album has ended (various points throughout). And to enjoy any of it short of using headphones, you have to have to volume turned up quite high. It's not an entirely bad thing, in that you won't have your neighbors calling the cops because it's too loud (well, depending on what sort of neighbors you have). More about On Water: Track Listing: Raising Of The Mainsail And A Song For The Damned (6:59) / Eye For Eye (4:20) / When The Smoke Fades Away (5:03) / Water Bodies (3:35) / Yardarm To Yardarm (2:45) / Safe Harbour (1:16) / London Towne (3:45) / You (3:26) / Islands (6:15) / Lemmings (7:39) / Ghosts (3:55) / Underwater I (1:04) / Without You (5:25) / Underwater II (1:02) / On Water (6:05) Sound Clips: Kinesis (RealAudio) Musicians: Arman Christoff Boyles - words and music, vocals, guitar and synth Scott Rader - drums, bass, and guitar Danny Flores - bass, classical guitar, mandolin Marianne Joan - vocals Nate Tuleson - violin Lee Ingram - French horn Les Bloome - bass Todd Anisman - guitars and bass Contact: Available from Kinesis [Review Index] ÊÊ[Home] © Copyright 2000

Great stuff, November 1, 2002
Reviewer: Jim Harkins from Del Mar, CA USA This is not metal, it's barely progressive, and I'm not sure it's even rock. In fact, I'm not sure what to call it. The best review of it,in fact, the only review I've seen. This is a very moody album, telling the story of a drowning sailor in the 17th century. If I could write worth a dang I'd do better, but I'm just going to recommend the ach ee double hocky stick out of it...

A GREAT CD, July 16, 2000
Reviewer: N. Barrett from IL This cd is my fav. in my collection. With songs like EYE FOR EYE and SONG FOR THE DAMNED make this cd great! The album is non stop greatness!



Progressive Newsletter
Product - On water
(62:31, Flickertista Records, 2000)

Zwischen Wunsch und Wirklichkeit bei den Presseinfos zu einer CD stehen oft Welten. Doch gibt es auch lobende Ausnahmen, die wirklich (zumindest zum Großteil) halten, was sie mit salbungsvollen Worten versprechen. So wird "On water" welches vom Duo Product alias Arman Christoff Boyles (Gesang, Gitarre, Synthesizer) und Scott Rader (Schlagzeug, Bass, Gitarre) komponiert wurde, im Ansatz als Mischung aus Filmmusik mit Rockeinflüssen kategorisiert, wobei als Vergleichsmomente Pink Floyd, Radiohead und Genesis herangezogen werden.
Gut, Vergleiche sind immer etwas schwierig und treffen meist nur Ansätzen zu, was selbstverständlich auch bei Product der Fall ist, doch merkt man bereits nach wenigen Minuten beim Eintauchen in dieses Album, dass hier mehr drin steckt, man noch einige Durchgänge benötigen wird, um den vollständigen Geist dieses Silberlings zu erfassen. Zunächst einmal fallen die vielen, ruhigen, stimmungsvollen Passagen auf, in denen Atmosphäre geschaffen wird. Oft werden sie abgelöst von auf den ersten Blick einfach angelegteren Akustikpassagen, die aber oftmals in gefangennehmende Melodien münden oder sich mehr und mehr in packende sinfonische Klanglandschaften voll Volumen und Schönheit steigern. Irgendwie fühle ich mich hier und da an die letzten Alben von Porcupine Tree erinnert, wo ebenfalls eindringliche Melodien in ein leicht progressives Umfeld gepackt wurden, Frontmann Boyles erinnert stimmlich etwas an Steve Hogarth von Marillion.
Und wie schon oben erwähnt, offenbart bereits der zweite bzw. dritte Durchlauf die vollständige Qualität dieser CD. Langsam gewinnen die Songs immer mehr an Struktur und Inhalt, die Arrangements graben sich langsam tiefer ins Gedächtnis ein und die Mischung aus stimmungsvoller Tiefe und melodischer Eleganz nimmt einen langsam gefangen. Anspruchsvoller Rock, Progressive Rock, Folk wurden melancholisch, aber stimmig vermischt. Okay, nicht jeder der 15 Songs hat durchschlagende Wirkung, doch das Gros wirkt überzeugend. Tiefere Ursachen für die Schönheit dieser Scheibe liegen offensichtlich darin begründet, dass sich die beiden Hauptkomponisten diverse Gastmusiker ins Studio holten (u.a. an Violine, Mandoline) und sie es zudem in ihre Kompositionen schaffen, zwar eindeutige Inspiration aus der Vergangenheit zu holen, im Gesamten aber ein modern klingende Ummantelung ihrer Ideen erschaffen. So wirkt zwar vieles vom Inhalt her bekannt und einfach zum Zurechtfinden, aber zugleich auch durchaus frisch, neu, nicht verstaubt oder antiquiert.
Wie auf diesem Konzeptalbum die surrealistische Geschichte ertrinkenden Matrosen währendes amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskrieges spannend erzählt wurde, macht Hoffnung, dass man auch 2001 wieder mit einigen interessanten Alben rechnen darf. Product gehören mit dem nicht spektakulären, aber unheimlich eindringlich wirkenden "On water" auf jeden Fall schon jetzt dazu. KS
Kontakt: Flickertista Records c/o Arman Christoff Boyles, P.O. Box 5673, Snowmass Village CO, 81615 U.S.A., Vertrieb u.a. über Kinesis Mailorder (Link auf unserer Website)

a short summary:
An album with a lot of emotion, acoustic parts which create
varying moods, overall a perfect mix of sophisticated rock,
progressive rock and folk. Even though this concept album
isn't spectacular, it really has something, which makes it worth
to listen to the album several times and dive deeper into the
music. This album definetely grows on you and its worth every





















GRAMMY Magazine - November 22, 2004
Internet Helps Prog-Rock's Underground Success
Old and new progressive rock groups benefit from Internet fan base (Read the Full Story)
Ernesto Lechner

The Internet doesn't only help established bands. It can also provide guidance to fans looking for new musicians in the genre — the Robert Fripp or Peter Gabriel of the new millennium.

"Back when I spent more time thinking about making albums than recording them, I wanted to figure out a way to evoke the spirit of the classic concept albums from the '70s, like Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway," says 35-year-old multi-instrumentalist Arman Boyles, the leader of neo-prog-rock outfit Product.

Boyles has just released the third album of a projected four-part music saga. The first two installments received rave reviews in specialized publications.

"I came across some alchemist symbols for the elements which gave me the structure of four albums with themes," he explains. "The first element, water, led me to a journal by a young sailor from the 1770s named Jacob Nagle. A trip to Italy and interest in science led me towards the struggle between Galileo and the church, which became the theme of Aire."

Boyles credits the Internet for helping turn his lifelong passion into a viable day job.

"The progressive rock listener is used to having to look a little harder for music," he says. "A few people with a passion for this music started a whole subculture of web mail-order labels and are helping bands like us get our material out there. With a little energy towards building relationships with these networks, a little money to print CDs and willingness to stuff envelopes, it's possible to bypass the smaller labels all together."

(Ernesto Lechner writes for Rolling Stone, Vibe, Billboard, Los Angeles Times and Variety, among other publications.)







Hackett's solo career now enjoys brand new genesis
By Ernesto Lechner
Special to the Tribune
October 14, 2005

"Steve Hackett may not sell millions of records, but I would never think of him as unsuccessful," says Arman Boyles, the leader of Product, a U.S. group from the new generation of prog-rock artists that includes bands such as Spock's Beard and Pendragon.
"He has influenced many artists and became an icon for music lovers in the know. He occupies a unique place under the radar of contemporary pop culture and enjoys the creative freedom that comes with it."