By David Perri
On May 14th, the Quebec and Canadian metal scenes lost one of their kindest, gentlest souls in Danko Todorov, a long-time staple of the Montreal metal environs. Todorov hosted L'Ulcere De Vos Nuits (The Ulcer Of Your Nights, in English) - an extreme metal program on CISM 89.3 FM, Université de Montréal's radio station - for many years, and in the process he interviewed and supported the innumerable local and international bands he was passionate about and he knew deserved a voice. In addition, Todorov was the metal DJ extraordinaire on weekends at Montreal's infamous Café Chaos bar, Todorov's classic and contemporary picks the soundtrack for the metalheads who congregated at Café Chaos and headbanged while drinking beer and Jäger (but, hey, let's be honest, it was mostly Jäger).
Todorov was an exceptionally friendly and humble guy and, after a long battle with liver cancer, was taken far too soon at the age of 44. Todorov's generosity and kindness were consistently reflected in his actions towards those in the metal scene and he always reached out to create opportunities for other defenders of our faith. In 2006, Todorov invited this scribe to appear on L'Ulcere De Vos Nuits to talk latest metal favorites but, despite his very courteous invitation, I had to turn down his offer due to my inability to speak French at the time. Todorov was eminently understanding and told me I was always welcome on his show if I ever felt comfortable in my second language. In late 2007, as my aptitude in French slowly progressed, I got in touch with Todorov and asked if his offer still stood. It did indeed, and I was soon off to Université de Montréal's CISM studios for several L'Ulcere Des Vos Nuits sessions where Todorov and I discussed Dismember, Dillinger Escape Plan, Woods Of Ypres (RIP David Gold) and other favorites with the wide-eyed wonder of two diehards who will never get enough of this music we call home. Throughout it all, Todorov was consistently understanding of my limitations in the French language and I always felt at ease dialoguing with him, despite the fact that I was making basic, beginner mistakes en français. Todorov never made me feel self-conscious about my language shortcomings and he always graciously helped me on air if I didn't know a certain word or expression. The experiences on Todorov's radio show were pivotal and they gave me confidence: as someone who is now a fluent French speaker, I look back on L'Ulcere De Vos Nuits with gratitude for Todorov's generous, calm, open-minded spirit.
Since word of Todorov's death surfaced on May 14th, the comment that has been stated and re-stated is that everyone loved Danko and Danko loved everyone. Which is so true it hurts. Todorov was as positive and genuine as they come, and his everflowing fondness for hair metal was charming. One recalls late nights driving home from metal shows in Montreal while listening to L'Ulcere De Vos Nuits, only to have Danger Danger's "Bang Bang" unexpectedly, and cheekily, begin. And then there was Todorov's Déjà Cinq Ans segment (in English: Already Five Years) on L'Ulcere De Vos Nuits, which showcased albums that were celebrating their fifth birthday, to both Todorov and the listener's amazement at the quickness of time's passage. On a frigid mid-winter night in 2008 while driving from a suburb to midtown Montreal, Todorov's Déjà Cinq Ans featured Blinded By Faith's Under An Occult Sun, a vastly underrated Quebec classic. In that moment, Todorov's love for
extreme metal and the listener's own sense of fledgling nostalgia converged, creating a synergy that can only be understood by us, the outsiders who listen to music that is misunderstood and maligned by those not in our sphere.
BraveWords wishes its sincere condolences to Todorov's family and many friends. He will be missed, especially on inhumanely cold winter nights when the car has yet to warm up, while the world seems pitch-black vast and the feeling of northern isolation takes hold, firmly. On those nights, it was Todorov's genuineness and perfect metal playlists that got you through. Here's hoping he's bringing his enthusiasm and good nature to our metal friends on the other side. He truly was metal's kindest gentleman.