On full-length album number fifteen (!), Napalm Death extinguish the experimental angle that they took on their last two records, 2006's "Smear Campaign" and 2009's "Time Waits For No Slave" (both of which featured guest vocals by a member of the progressive-post-punk group Swans or Dutch prog-rockers The Gathering). But this is still one of the most innovative and groundbreaking grindcore bands in the history of the genre, so experimentation is never out of the question. And sure enough, 2012's "Utilitarian" does employ some new-ish-sounding elements. Opener "Circumspect" is a two-minute-long doom metal-soaked instrumental, making it a big standout not just on the record, but in Napalm Death's whole discography. Also of note is "Everyday Pox," which fuses in squealing, strangulated saxophone soloing (from Naked City frontman/noisemaster John Zorn) amidst its usual avalanche of fiery riffs, pounding drums, and distorted bass. "The Wolf I Feed" features a bass-heavy mix in addition to some Burton C. Bell-derived borderline clean, echoing-out vocals from Mitch Harris. (And this is on top of the tune's usual Motorhead-inspired speed punk beat and catchy call-and-response vocal refrain where intelligible hardcore screams trade-off with Barney Greenway's visceral growls.) And finally, "Fall On Their Swords" has another interesting twist in that it incorporates an epic-sounding, Gregorian-esque chanting choir into the mix, thus interrupting a number that is otherwise sheer, blast beat-laden sonic violence and malevolence. The vast majority of this blistering, throat-ripping set, though, sounds like the usual Napalm Death of old. Track two, "Errors In The Signals," is a furious, white-hot, and rip-roaring ball of racing hardcore punk riffs, pummeling drum blasts, and freaky high, black metal-lite shrieks (that do well at offsetting Barney's usual penchant for livid, full-bodied bellows). Other standouts include the fiery, abrasively chugging guitars, stomping rhythms, foaming-at-the-mouth vocals, and deft, machine-gunning drum fills of "Protection Racket"; "Quarantined," a bludgeoning blast of full-on speedcore that plays like a runaway Mack truck with its abundance of thundering guitars and bass and blistering grindcore blasts; the positively mosh-able "Blank Look About Face" (which features some catchy, staccato riffing and vocals); and the catchy, chugging groove and Unsane-like clangy bass of "A Gag Reflex." Also, if you buy the edition of "Utilitarian" that has a bonus track, "Everything In Mono," you will be treated to an additional highlight, because it features an "Ace Of Spades"-era Motorhead-esque grumbling bass intro. Finally, no review of this album would be complete without mentioning "Think Tank Trials," "Leper Colony," "Nom De Guerre" (a minute-long throwback to ND's "Scum"-era), and "Opposites Repellent." Why? Because all of these songs showcase Danny Herrera, who steps into the spotlight by unleashing a flood of excellent, crushing, airtight, and frequently-jackhammer-fast drumming. All told, what we have on our hands, here, is another very good and impeccably solid -- albeit if not life-altering -- effort from Barney and the boys. It might not be the crown jewel in Napalm Death's career, but it certainly proves that they still mean business!