My Brothers Blood Machine Review – A Series for fans that have wandered the campgrounds of Crystal Lake and survived The Cryptkeeper’s chilling tales.
My Brother’s Blood Machine review
Written by: Claudio Sanchez & Steve Niles
Art by: Andrew Ritchie
Published by: Evil Ink Comics
Claudio Sanchez is a beloved musician whose music, as the frontman of Coheed and Cambria, has created a fandom and universe on its own. What really drew me to the music, was this layered story being told through the music and comics that accompany it. It has elevated the comics and music mediums while creating its own little corner that complements each other.
This brings us to the latest limited series of My Brother’s Blood Machine. This elevated slasher series delivers everything you’d want from your classic slasher while putting it through a grinder. You see a unique vision of Sanchez brought to life with the help of a legend in horror comics Steve Niles, who co-wrote the series alongside Sanchez. I took a bit of a different approach while reading the series, as it’s inspired by Sanchez’s solo music project in The Prizefighter Inferno.
The album itself which shares the same name as the comic series is a treat but unpacking the emotions from the series along with the music created an experience that is unrivaled. Sanchez plays to a different tune in this album which was something genuinely surprising and great to experience all on its own but piecing these two experiences into one cohesive journey into the stories Sanchez crafts is where he has thrived for years now with The Amory Wars among many others and MBBM does not let down.
Sanchez and Niles pack a lot of story in a very minimal way, which made the series easily digestible. This is a personal preference of mine and made me appreciate the series that much more. What it holds back in the narrative, it hits you with blood, gore, and absolute chaos. Watching the Bleam Brothers use this town as their playground was something out of a nightmare.
This isn’t your typical slasher killer who hides in the shadows and calls you late at night to ask what your favorite scary movie is. This duo of killers has a demented belief and the people of this town are just fuel for the flesh juicer machine they’ve created.
Our protagonist Cecilia crosses paths with these two and as scary as that confrontation is, Cecilia has already been living with a devil she knows who causes her harm in a way that is sadly more common than we’d hope. This was an underlying bag of emotions that hit just as hard as anything the Bleam Brothers could throw at you as the physical and emotional damage caused by her father is tenfold worse than anything two sadistic killers could do.
Now, the narrative is in place and tied together in a bow made of flesh and blood by the impressive work of artist Andrew Ritchie who is given a task that he saw through and then some. The emotions these characters emulate throughout the series are something out of a film. Then taking it back and delivering the amount of gore and carnage with such delicacy and detail is a respectable accomplishment that rivals not only some of the best gore in comics but even that within the likes of films like Evil Dead.
I genuinely recommend listening to the album after you read the series as some of these songs can lend some additional bits of lore, if you will.
Two really resonated with me, one being The Going Price for Home which at first glance seems like a sweet song from Arthur McCloud’s perspective. If you pay close attention, you’ll see that his drive home to his family after some time in jail speaks of his love for his daughter. I don’t believe it’s the type of love a father should have for his daughter.
The second song, Our Darling Daughter You Are, Little Cecilia Marie. This song jumps to Cecilia McCloud’s perspective and is truly disturbing as she describes the details of the sexual assault by her father and the love she used to have for him which has now turned to hate and wishes for his death. Honorable mention to 78 which I believe to be descriptions of a future where the Blood Machine has found itself with a cult following under the lead of Long Arm.
He still is under the delusion of his love for Cecilia and I think that fuels his need to feed the Blood Machine. More disturbingly, is how powerful and feared this cult has become. Not very often do you get a comic series that tells such an overwhelming and captivating story, let alone one with an album that fuels your attachment to the series. This elevates the series into an entire universe haunting your mind.
Overall, the series is a heavy emotional weight to carry and I warn you to be wary of any sexual assault triggers that are of topic in the series to an extent. The series does thrive in a special corner of creativity that pulls from the slasher films we grew up with and the series is presented almost as an homage to 80s horror comics. If you’re ready to delve into the depths of this hellish nightmare that’s befallen this rural town beautifully crafted by some of the greatest creative minds in comics, then step right in, if you dare.
A variety geek who enjoys geeking out with friends over video games, comics, or movies/TV shows. An avid wrestling fan since the days of the Attitude Era and N64’s No Mercy, he now spends much of his time reading and collecting comics. All of my puns are intended.