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Italian psychological rock project
has released album
Dolor hic tibi proderit olim (Ovidio)
The Rock against Bullying project was born in 2018 from an initiative by Salvo ‘Ironwill’ Dell’Arte:
the band is part of a wide kaleidoscope in which all artistic forms are involved:
music, photography, video, comics, illustration and works of art.
IRONWILL‘s aim is to bring together the best artists who are able to express, the importance of the themes dealt with in each phase of the project, through their emotions.
IRONWILL believes that rock music and other forms of art are the best way to communicate with people, especially young people and teenagers, the light of the soul that everyone needs on the evolution path of their lives.
Art is part of life and is the best way to help us give true meaning to our journey on this Earth.
IRONWILL aims to deal with personal and psychological issues, offering different points of view into the depths of one’s soul, trying to shine a warm light at the audience.
The first chapter dealt with bullying; in 2019 IRONWILL recorded the concept album ‘The Jonathan’s Journey’.
The second chapter released in 2020/2021, called ‘Breakout’, is about the evolution of souls;
10 songs (plus an introductory single) linked by the same perspective:
a positive evolution.
In the meantime, IRONWILL are experimenting with a return to blues with a set of singles in which the crossover between rock and blues allows them to explore the themes musically.
This fascinating exploration is called B2B Back to Blues.
CHAPTER ONE: THE JONATHAN’S JOURNEY
Bullying is a plague that has always infected the world of children and adolescents and which, with the new technologies, has unimaginable and harmful outcomes.
There are invariably two victims: the bullied who suffers physical or psychological violence and the bully who tries to overcome his inferiority by brute force alone.
The theme is approached from the bullied person’s point of view who, through sheer force of will, manages to overcome all the imaginary obstacles that physical and moral violence has placed in front of him, albeit through a path studded with mistakes and pain from which he has learned to evolve.
‘Jonathan’s Journey’ is a concept album by IRONWILL which describes the journey of the main character’s soul’s evolution towards spiritual fulfilment and addresses issues of bullying and adolescent discomfort.
The 10 songs tell the story of the journey from the loss of innocence to the evolution of the child into a mature adult.
Characters: JONATHAN, bullied boy;
IRONWILL: Jonathan’s alter ego in his growing-up years
Jonathan, bullied and mocked by his friends because of his physical condition, at the age of 12, loses his soul inside the mirror in which he tries to find his way with his alter ego Ironwill, who represents redemption from marginalisation and bullying.
The concept begins with ‘The Mirror’ where Jonathan, haunted by his peers’ chanting, falls into the mirror.
As the years pass, Ironwill loses all contact with Jonathan and loses his pure soul which becomes sterile in its search for constant confirmation.
The second track ‘Demons on the Floor’ is about the loss of innocence to escape from pain the incomprehensible ego that leaves the mirror empty looking for what is tempt me.
Where there was a space there’s now plenty all alone reading the letters that Jonathan sent me
Over the years he gets involved in unhealthy relationships because of his need to be loved:
‘The Infinity’ is his encounter with love.
‘Ironwill’ is pure willpower:
he consistently achieves his goals and overcomes his expectations:
Playing on and on is the way forward.
Ironwill believes in friendship and love, but the envy of others punctually corrodes every relationship and every emotion:
‘Bees and Flies’ is the antagonism between two species that fly but settle in different places, bees on flowers and flies on faeces.
‘Bees and Flies’ is also the song dedicated to the concept that man is free only if he has a strong knowledge developed through study or consistency;
in fact it is an intentional plagiarism of the famous melody of the lawsuit between Al Bano and Michael Jackson.
Awareness of the rules of life is starting to become clearer to Ironwill, the world is tuned to negativity.
All that remains is to reinforce one’s inner strength.
I Believe is the development of balance with the awareness of personal strengths as the only resource for evolution.
Time begins to shine on Ironwill’s path as he looks into the room of Jonathan’s past and examines every tear the child has shed.
Time is a hymn to decision;
to cover in one minute a distance worth 60 seconds as Kipling said in his poem IF.
In the tsunami of his mistakes Ironwill has touched the depths of hell;
only the dark End is ahead of him.
But on the way to the abyss, luck brings him face to face with an angel who stops him from the planned destruction.
From the darkest depths, Ironwill finds the direction of his journey and begins the final stage of evolution.
Ironwill is thus the song of the point of no return, the turning point and the awareness.
He did not remember how much he was traveling, it was not important, mystery unravelling.
It could have been lightyears, maybe a few heartbeats, even this was minor, for the new hits
The maturity achieved by Ironwill must now be reconciled with Johnathan’s candid purity.
The journey is at its end, the child comes out of the mirror with the collapsing of the dam that life had created to hide painful memories from his mind, but inevitably cutting the umbilical cord between Jonathan and Ironwill.
Jonathan and Ironwill meet again at the beginning of the last part of the journey united and reborn.
The song thus symbolizes the breaking of the dam that separated the two souls.
Reunion represents rebirth;
perhaps more important than the original biological one.
Not only music, but lyrics are the real story that accompanies the listener on the intimate journey of Jonathan’s evolution in becoming Ironwill;
the listener’s imagination must be supported visually.
Thus all forms of visual artistic expression become privileged vehicles for the divulgation and understanding of Ironwill’s message.
Supporting the music, the project is enriched by two graphic projects:
the first is 11 plates drawn by Cristina Iacoangeli which iconographically represent the lyrics of the CD, using a modern comic vision;
the second is the creation of an original comic book with a script by Toraldo Manfredi and drawings by Sandro Pizziolo.
In addition, a group exhibition of photographic works of various artists creates a realistic and imaginative journey through the problem of bullying;
artistic director is Fabrizio Luzzo
THE COMIC BOOK
In order to divulge the subject matters dealt with in the album through iconographic media that can be understood by the younger generations, Ironwill has produced a comic book that will also be distributed in schools, the script of which was taken from the dialogue between Jonathan and Ironwill.
THE DAM (stop to the bullying)
A piercing scream, the storm, the thud, the dust…
Ironwill’s eyes, marked of makeup, dripping wet, suddenly crossed Johnathan’s eyes full of tears of fear.
They scanned each other for lasting moments.
I.: “Hi, I’m IRONWILL….”
Johnathan answered with astonished smile and frowned his smoothly forehead.
J.: “yes, I know ya….I was still waiting for you…nice to meet you, I’m Johnathan.”
I.: “I know who you are” answered Ironwill “I was looking for you…”
Their eyes were the same, were really identical … but they had to recognized each other.
J.: “How was the journey Ironwill? I was still following you inside the mirror, I really admired you…”
I.: “No Johnathan, you know how the journey was; actually you drove the ship, you kept the soul commands from the mirror!”
J.: “Yes…well, I was in there actually, but I was afraid…. I only advised you, you needed your own freedom, it was exclusively yours. But my fears have taken possession of you. I know.”
I.: “Don’t believe it Johnathan! You’ve used me to exorcize your fears and you created me like a warrior in a battle that I didn’t want to fight in. Wasn’t my fear: I’m strong enough; you needed to defend yourself.”
Johnathan’s face twisted into a grimace.
I.: “You fought the battle because you weren’t strong enough, I forced you … Unknowing I gave you the tools to make me what I wanted to be; my hopes and desires were necessarily yours, my needs became your strength. You don’t imagine how hard it was to remain imprisoned into the mirror and leaving you growing up alone… we should have grown together…”
I.: “Yeah, but when we were 12, you suddenly disappeared, without giving me any signs… I was really lost without you. Why did you leave?”
J.: “I was imprisoned into the mirror, those children chased me singing their fools songs. They
hated me, they teased me, they hurt me saying dirty words; they stole my toys. Those little girls
were overwhelming me; also her…and I really loved her, but she was joking me …. I looked in the
mirror and I saw you …. then I was caught. Only you could have freed me. I only understood it
now. Why didn’t you come?”
I.: “You showed me the way but you never showed me the way back. We have to die to free ourselves. The dam divided us; the river of real life remained harnessed behind it.”
J.: “The only way to break down the dam, was destroying our fears, chewing them with our meat, gnawing the bones of our soul to find the way, the real way, the illuminated one. I gave you the pain because you could fight it for me.”
I.: “But from my suffering you bled in the mirror. You agonized, captured, hurt….wouldn’t it be better to stay there, in peace and with no pain?”
J.: “The prison was the shelter; the mirror swallowed me and I didn’t want to be gobbled up by Evil. You missed me to became complete.”
Johnathan and Ironwill turned to the empty mirror, behind the rubble of the dam.
The memories melted completely their souls, freeing them to the way of light.
Their thoughts became clearer and their hands finally became One.
So there was no trace of Johnathan… and there was no trace of Ironwill….
Cristina Iacoangeli, a.k.a. Humbriel, has created 11 graphic panels for Ironwill with a unique, modern and sensitive style.
Each board represents a song from the CD Jonathan’s Journey, allowing the merging of music with fantastic artwork.
CHAPTER TWO: ‘B2B – BACK TO BLUES’
In the second chapter, IRONWILL returns to blues sounds thanks to the meeting with the singer Riell, who gives the songs innovative nuances;
the process presents itself as an opportunity to address further psychological themes through three singles.
Fabio Calvin Duke on bass and Linton Samuel Dawson on keyboards are added to the line-up.
‘I’m Back to Me‘: we find Jonathan who after being a beggar of love, denied in adolescence, returns to himself, the final destination.
‘Out of the Cage‘: As an adult, Jonathan is able to escape from the cage of negative emotions, abandoning all the sins into which he had slipped in his defence.
‘Funky Joke‘: it is a hymn to life-saving music…. Playing and dancing helps to lift the spirits.
The collaboration with the Maestro of photography Franco Donaggio began.
He enriched the covers of the singles with his magnificent photographic works that iconographically represent the contents of the lyrics.
The third chapter abstracts itself from the character Jonathan and deals with the recurring themes of ‘awakening-breakout’ evolution in its various stages.
The line-up confirms Riell on vocals, joined by American opera singer Sherrie Anne Grieve, male vocalist Jareth Skullek, Calvin Duke on bass and Gabriele on keyboards, Carlos Cantatore on drums.
Guitars, lyrics and music Salvo Ironwill Dell’Arte.
Musically, the new album is a blend of rock, blues and funky with lyrical and classical colours.
The photographic works of maestro Franco Donaggio enrich the covers of the individual tracks, giving them the perfect visual-audio combination.
‘Picture Life’ is the single that represents the transition to chapter three.
The first awakening.
Man embraces his soul aware of his path towards the imaginary life.
Pure metal with the return to the family of Piero Leporale and Kifrah on vocals, who join Riell.
‘As Fast as Rock and Roll’:
there is a solution to live ‘on the top’, to close the insides holes where mice and cockroaches pass by and live as fast as RnR.
the awakening of one’s awareness leading to the elevation of the highest step;
Rock with classical and lyrical influences in the kaleidoscopic spectrum of the colours of evolution.
interior strength to counteract the gravitational force of negativity that tries to crush energies.
Heavy-rock that echoes the lyrics.
the dialogue between the two people who coexist in the same soul, a dialectic that allows you to become the Prince of your own life without puppeteers.
Funky-rock that follows the flow of the soul exchange.
and yet we are condemned to look for the love that completes us.
There are many types of love including domination that results in violence against women.
The sin that cannot be forgiven.
A ballad with classical sounds to guide us in our reflection on violence.
It is hard to escape the memories of past sadness, the night brings back nightmares.
Hard rock that builds awareness of one’s mistakes.
‘Step by Step‘:
funky rock to give an energising boost to the dance of life.
‘True or not‘:
the strength to fall seven times and get back up eight times.
Acoustic ballad with country influences.
‘Try on the other side‘:
There is a Mr Hyde hiding in all of us, it is up to us to make the jump out of this duality.
‘Wind and Talk‘:
life is imposed on us, but it is up to us to live it or suffer it.
Those who can, do it;
those who cannot, are only able to criticise the decisions of those who can.
After the experience of the new recordings with the lead vocals of Sherrie and Jareth, Salvo ‘Ironwill’ decided to record from new some of the best tracks they had done before with the magnificent lead vocals of Sherrie and Jareth.
The band records:
‘AS FAST AS ROCK AND ROLL’, ‘ANGEL’ from the first CD ‘The Jonathan’s Journey’
The band is currently recording ‘SAVE ME’
‘PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’
Thanks to the palette of colours that Sherrie and Jareth’s voices offer, Salvo Ironwill are able to fulfil one of his old dreams:
to record ‘Phantom of the Opera’ revisited in a techno metal style.
After creating original arrangements, increasing the bpm to 120, and maintaining the original tone that is in Sherrie’s range, the band records its version of Phantom, first performed live on 1 July 2022 in a wide-ranging theatrical event involving multiple artists.
Cover art Francesca Mele Photography