Behemoth frontman Nergal has been found innocent of charges relating to tearing a Bible on stage in his native Poland.
The nation has strict laws against offending religious feelings and Nergal, real name Adam Darski, was charged following a concert in Gdynia in 2007 after he called the Catholic Church "the most murderous cult on the planet" then referred to the Bible as "a book of lies" before tearing pages out of a copy.
Dismissing the charges, judge Krzysztof Wiechowski described the musician's actions as "a form of art", and said the law was not intended to limit artistic expression or the right to criticise religions.
Nergal says: "I'm so glad to see intelligence won over religious fanatics in my home country. There's still so much work to be done to make things right, but I'm sure I'm on the path to ultimate freedom."
"The battle is won but the war ain't over."
The case went to trial after Ryszard Nowak, chairman of the Polish Committee for Defence Against Sects, took action against Behemoth and accused them of promoting Satanism.
But Judge Wiechowski ruled no one in the audience had been offended by Nergal's act, and the only person to complain in the first instance had been Nowak himself.
Bassist Orion previously explained the band had been tearing Bibles for two years before it became an issue. "Behemoth fans know what the band is about", he said. "They know what the lyrics are about and at least a little philosophy behind the band. So it's kind of surprising that people who come to our show might be offended at what we do."
"If such a person comes to a show, he comes with the purpose of being offended and it shouldn't be like that."
Meanwhile, the "Metal Bible" has been published in English and German following its original release in Swedish and Dutch.
The special edition of the New Testament features interviews with musicians including Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden, David Ellefson of Megadeth, Tommy Aldridge ex of Whitesnake, producer Bob Rock, who discuss the meaning of religion in their lives.
Coordinator Johannes Jonsson says: "The idea was to design the Bible in such a way that it could real more to those of us who are into hard rock and metal."
You can read Metal Bible online here.
Thanks for the report to RockNewsDesk.com.