We're officially more than halfway through 2019, which means we're just about ready to take a well-earned three-month nap... What? It's been a long year so far!

In an effort to keep ourselves awake until #135 rolls around in October, we've packed the new issue of Australian Guitar with some downright brutal heaviness – we're talking Killswitch EngageNorthlaneBaroness and Steve Vai, all of whom are ripping up the charts with their latest albums, and whom we caught up with for some quality chats about them all. That's in addition to this issue's mammoth cover story, where we get down to the (barbed) wire with the generation-defining nu-metal hellions in Slipknot, who are making a return to the forefront in 2019 with their crushing new album of experimental savagery, We Are Not Your Kind.

We also take a deep dive into the ABCs of Metallica, head backstage for an in-depth look at Karnivool’s recent national theatre tour, and jet over to Europe to hit this year's monumental Graspop and Jera On Air festivals. And for this issue's exclusive full tablature, we're tackling a '90s classic with the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Suck My Kiss" (which comes courtesy of Hal Leonard, from their ace lesson book Red Hot Chili Peppers: Deluxe Guitar Play-Along).

Of course, we aren't just banging our heads to the heaviest breakdowns around. At the top of the list, AG #135 features a special three-page interview with blues legend Carlos Santana, in which he fills us in on the cultural transcendency that cornerstones his latest album, Africa Speaks. We also riff with Joey Santiago on the career-defining new record from the Pixies, gear up for a rock 'n' roll rodeo with Chris Shiflett, head to the dancefloor with Two Door Cinema Club, and settle in for another jaw-dropping rollercoaster of alt-rock with Silversun Pickups.

On the local side of things, we're amping up for a massive few months of homegrown rock, with the debut album from WAAX promising massive grunge and punk hooks; The Teskey Brothers delivering a soul-rattling onslaught of slick blues shredding; Angie McMahon hitting hard and heavy with her distinctly raw, heart-on-sleeve indie-rock; Angus Stone throwing a sour edge on psychedelica with his new album as Dope Lemon; and Holy Holy shaking things up with their loose and livid third LP. We get the lowdown on all of those releases, plus Grinspoon's upcoming arena tour, and Darren Middleton's extra-special tribute to Abbey Road with the Antipodean Rock Collective.

And as always, we’ve got a stack of hot new gear reviews (see below for the full list) – including the wicked new signature Ibanez guitars from the legends in Polyphia, two game-changing pieces of hardware from ZOOM, and Fender's quirky, yet unsurprisingly killer Acoustasonic hybrid guitar – as well as all the usual lesson and technique columns, album reviews (including our take on the roaring new mecca from Bruce Springsteen) and producer profile.

Plus, in this issue, we're featuring a special four-page shootout looking at the finest acoustic guitars around $1,000. Whether you're a fingerpicking virtuoso looking for a new kit to fiddle around on at home, or a beginner keen to dive into the greatest instrument on the planet, we're certain you'll find your next favourite fretboard listed here.

Grab a copy of AG #134 from your local newsagent today, or subscribe online here!

AUSTRALIAN GUITAR #134 (AUGUST 2019)

INTERVIEWS
• Slipknot
• Baroness
• Killswitch Engage
• The Teskey Brothers
• Holy Holy
• Silversun Pickups
• Darren Middleton
• Angie McMahon
• Two Door Cinema Club
• Northlane
• WAAX
• Chris Shiflett
• Santana
• Pixies
• Grinspoon
• Steve Vai
• Dope Lemon

AXES IN ACTION
• Graspop Metal Meeting
• Jera On Air

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Backstage Tour: On The Road With Karnivool
• Shootout: Acoustics Around A Thousand Bucks
• The A to Z of Metallica

REGULARS
• Tablature: Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Suck My Kiss"
• Producer Profile: Recording Techniques with Mick Wordley
• Home Recording: Compression in the Studio – Part Two
• Modern Theory with Reg Barber
• Lead Work with Peter Hodgson
• Shredded Metal with Jimmy Lardner-Brown
• Blues And Beyond with Adrian Whyte
• Hot Gear
• CD Reviews

GEAR REVIEWS
• TOP SHELF: Ibanez THBB10 and SLM10 Polyphia Signature Model Electric Guitars
• KRK Rokit G4 Nearfield Studio Monitors
• Markbass STU 1000
• Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO
• Audient Sono
• Black Diamond x Jimi Hendrix Foundation "Music For Life" Strings
• ZOOM G1X FOUR
• ZOOM Q2n-4K Handy Video Recorder
• Fender American Acoustasonic Telecaster
• Carl Martin Purple Moon Vintage Fuzz n' Vibe Pedal (2019 Version)
• Line 6 Relay G10S