Crimson Chrysalis, Crimson Passion Cry


Crimson Chrysalis is a South African female rock artist currently living in Pretoria. I have been in the music industry for quite sometime, but used to perform under the name “René”. I made a total directional change, and went from the Afrikaans acoustic-rock genre to neo-classical rock. I grew up in Bloemfontein, and completed the Unisa grade 1 piano exam already at the age of 5. I got my first guitar at the age of 8, and started giving guitar lessons at the age of 12. The guitar is still my leading, and favorite instrument. Crimson Passion Cry is the culmination of a two-and-a-half year journey by the Crimson Chrysalis creative team. René van den Berg, as the singer/composer, and Esther Slabbert, the lyricist, had a vision to create more than just another album. We wanted to establish a sophisticated, wall-of-sound product that has a purpose above and beyond mere entertainment. Crimson Passion Cry is one unique release that certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is and artist that brings to the table effective songwriting via a highly subjective musical delivery. This meshed with a one in a million Alt-Rock-Pop sound and effective visuals and vocals makes for a very effective combination no doubt. Rene is just a breath away from straight up Alternative Hard Rock but skillfully manages to never cross the line into that realm. This makes for a very unique sound indeed that is mystifying end extremely fascinating. All songs are wonderfully simple but masterful in their overall arrangements. Music reminded me of more theatrical version of Florence and the Machine. This CD is quite entertaining overall with an unobtrusive vocal feel from Rene. She is a musical triple threat in my mind.   She is a world class songwriter and has what I would describe as a possessing an amazing amount of savant-esqe creativity. She has a likeable appeal (visually and vocally). Her lyrical content is a giant curveball and offers a very compelling and soul searcher perspective and spirit. No doubt many will like Rene’s mystique and mysterious music. All song do exactly what they are meant to do via well-crafted movements and top tiered musicianship.

Official URL —

Top Tracks are: Moth Around a Flame, Letters from the Edge,

Criticism: The overall production value is a bit off kilter. Rene isn’t the most impressive vocalist I’ve ever come across. Though she manages to keep her head above water I don’t really see her as a very technical singer. She wills top you in your tracks with her other skill sets though. If there’s something special about Rene it would be her writing virtuoso, artistic vision and brilliant perspective of life through music.

Conclusion: Crimson Chrysalis has proven herself with this latest release. She is clearly a serious artist around South Africa and all band members backing him up are clearly capable musicians. I must admit “Crimson Passion Cry” sucked me in like a powerful drug and refused to let go long after the CD was over. This usually indicates he is something special about the artist or band in question. Thus deserving praise, recognition and musical fame at the international level.

Drew Blackwell edited by Michael Rand
Review comments to

Leave a Reply