2011 was a great year for metal, but these 200 (actually more) things (be it EPs, singles, LPs, whatever) are releases I could see giving spins for years to come. Putting this in any sort of order would be difficult, so this isn't in least to greatest or anything. The main thing I hope happens with this thread is that at least 1 person finds 1 more piece of metal music to add to their collection from 2011 that they may have missed.
Immolation - Providence [EP]
Death metal veterans releasing death metal, as would be expected. This EP is a bit more technical than some of their previous efforts but still has enough old school sensibilities to keep it sounding brutal.
Shub Niggurath - A Deadly Call From The Stars [LP]
Blackened death metal from Mexico, a bit more melodic than most of their contemporaries.
Oranssi Pazuzu - Kosmonument [LP]
Tripped out avant-garde black metal with a lot of 70s psychedelic influences going on, also some drone, some ambient, a bit of doom, and a hint of djent. This album is all over the place, but also strangely coherent. It might require headphones to squeeze every last drop out of this album since there are lo-fi soundscapes that seem to just pop into existence in weird spots and not last very long. Definitely a grower and worth the patience put into it, though I could see this not being everyone's cup o' tea.
Arch/Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance[LP]
Amazing debut from this prog-metal group. If you're into Dream Theater odds are you'll also enjoy this stuff.
Vanhelgd - Church Of Death [LP]
A lesson in death metal proper. These Swedish bastards have an extremely old school sound that kinda brings me back to my youth.
Venom - Fallen Angels [LP]
Yep, they're still awesome.
Njiqahdda - ...And One By One Crept Silently To Rest [EP] | Disciples Of Flames (Agni Yoga)[LP]
One of a few artists I'll willingly list multiple releases from under number to make space for more artists to make the list. Njiqahdda play a brand of avant-garde black metal that is jazzy and frantic.
Alestorm - Back Through Time[LP]
Rum is the power, rum is the key!
Oblivionized - Abhorrent Evolution [EP]
Debut EP from this technical metal act. It comes and goes in just under 20 minutes but in that short time they leave quite a first impression.
Liturgy - Aesthethica [LP]
For some reason this album is fairly hated among metal elitists. Often times the complaint is that this isn't "true black metal" or some such. While I can see the things that are generally labeled as the faults of the album, like the intentional watering down of the black metal sound to make it something more appealing to the hipster crowd, I actually think that isn't a bad thing. The outside the box thinking and creativity on this album puts it above and beyond that, and for once Pitchfork was right. Get over your hatred for scene kids and give this a spin because it's leagues ahead of your silly mime paint tr00 kvlt nekr0gr1m black metal.
Amorphis - The Beginning Of Times [LP]
Once again Amorphis lives up to their name. This album, like other Amorphis albums, blends together many styles into a unique listening experience. With a highly melodic blend of melodeath, power metal, gothic metal, and pop sensibilities they've created an album that is both accessible and deep.
Earth - Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I[LP]
I hesitated to include this album since there isn't actually much metal to be found, but these guys are typically a drone metal act so I figured I'd associate this with the band's background just to slide it on to the list because I do love this album to death. This time around Earth abandons their typical metal and delivers their drone with a side of blues and a hint of the ol' west.
Esoteric - Paragon Of Dissonance [LP]
Some of the heaviest doom metal of 2011, but also some of the most melodic. If I cared about order this would actually be pretty close to number 1. If you only listen to one album from this list consider this one.
Ecliptyka - A Tale Of Decadence [LP]
Super catchy power metal with some melodeath influences.
Smohalla - Résilience [LP]
Black metal with a few avant-garde leanings. Definitely some unusual time signatures for black metal and extremely dissonant synth work going on here.
Giant Squid - Cenotes [LP]
Highly under rated progressive metal band with doom leanings. The use of cello on this album is phenomenal.
Periphery - Icarus [EP]
Math metal/djent, whatever you want to call it.
Vildhjarta - Mĺsstaden [LP]
The debut album from this Swedish djent band. Solid all the way through.
Abstract Spirit - Horror Vacui [LP]
Funeral doom metal like only the Russians could produce.
The Gates Of Slumber - The Wretch [LP]
Traditional doom metal, very Black Sabbath-esque.
Doomraiser - Mountains Of Madness [LP]
More traditional doom metal. This album's one downside is that Cynar isn't a particularly good vocalist and the mixing makes that apparent. If you can get past that this album has tons to offer.
Lord Vicar - Signs Of Osiris [LP]
More traditional doom, more greatness.
**** The Facts - Die Miserable [LP] | Misery [EP]
Two releases from one band, taking up one slot because that's how this list rolls. Grindy goodness.
Before The Rain - Frail [LP]
Extremely melodic progressive doom from Portugal.
Encoffination - O' Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres [LP]
Doom/death is as doom/death does.
Opeth - Heritage [LP]
Even if this album moves quite a bit away from metal for an Opeth album I feel it has enough metal moments to qualify as a metal album. Since I'm essentially a walking hard on for Opeth it should come as no surprise that it makes my list.
Mournful Congregation - The Book Of Kings[LP]
At this point I'm probably boring you guys with all the doom metal but MOAR DOOM!
Leviathan - True Traitor, True Whore [LP]
Atmospheric black meta.
Rwake - Rest [LP]
Doomy sludge greatness.
Bloodiest - Descent [LP]
Another debut album made my list. This is seemingly a good year for first timers.
Necros Christos - Doom Of The Occult[LP]
Blackened death metal with a hint of middle eastern influence. In some ways fairly similar to Nile but in other ways totally different. The metal on this album are broken up with beautiful instrumentals which keeps this hour and 15 minute behemoth from growing stale. I'll include a track of each style to show the diversity of the album.
Farsot - Insects [LP]
Well written black metal with enough musicality to make it sound a step above the rest.
Evilfeast - Wintermoon Enchantment [LP]
Raw atmospheric black metal.
Devin Townsend Project - Deconstructed [LP] | Ghost [LP]
Technically only one of these releases should make my list since the other isn't metal, but I'm including both because I don't feel like being pedantic over it. They're both great albums, Deconstructed being a huge epic prog-metal album and Ghost being is an ambient rock album. If you're not familiar with Devin Townsend and his various projects you should get familiar with him now.
from Deconstructed. from Ghost.
Amon Amarth - Sutur Rising[LP]
Spell check is telling me it should be "suture".
Black Tusk - Set The Dial [LP]
I <3 sludge.
Lantlôs - Agape [LP]
Post black metal.
Omega Massif - Karpatia[LP]
Beautiful instrumental sludge and post metal.
Amebix - Sonic Mass[LP]
Although the band typically plays crust this album cuts back a bit on the punky elements and it's more of a modern metal sound they've got going on here.
Shining(SWE) - VII: Född Förlorare[LP]
Experimental black metal like no other. Not to be confused with the Norwegian band.
Nervecell - Psychogenocide[LP]
Death metal with a hint of thrash.
Moar to come. I'll just keep updating this OP until the full list is here.
Altar Of Plagues - Mammal [LP]
Post black metal.
Vektor - Outer Isolation [LP]
Progressive thrash metal that blows my mind. Sounds kind of like a super modern Voivod.
Myrath - Tales From The Sand[LP]
A unique blend of middle eastern folk and progressive metal. This album is less prog-oriented than their others but also features some of their catchiest writing to date.
Mastodon - The Hunter [LP]
The usual Mastodon album, and by that I mean it doesn't sound like any other Mastodon album.