The successful lead singer transplant is rare in rock music. Even when one frontman is replaced by another and their commercial success isn’t disturbed (as when Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen), there are inevitably vocal fans and critics who firmly refuse to recognize the new regime (as when Gary Cherone replaced Sammy Hagar in, uh, Van Halen).

That unenviable position is where Seattle’s Queensrÿche found themselves in 2012. The band had been together for 30 years at that point, creating a singular hard-rock sound that combined the muscular riffing of guitarists Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo, the intricate drumming of Scott Rockenfeld, and singer Geoff Tate’s near-operatic vocal range. The band eschewed the typical hair metal and grunge trends of their era and instead concentrated on crisply played, compellingly performed concept albums with a uniquely intelligent and politically aware lyrical perspective. They sold 20 million copies of albums including Operation: Mindcrime and Empire on the strength of hits like “Silent Lucidity,” “I Don’t Believe In Love,” and “Jet City Woman,” garnering four Grammy Award nominations along the way.

Though their commercial heyday had passed by the late ’90s, the band was still able to tour successfully, until that fateful night in 2012 where, at a show in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Tate and Rockenfeld got into a physical altercation before a concert, and the band parted ways not just with Tate but with his wife, who had been their manager since 1995, and Tate’s sister, who was president of the Queensrÿche fan club.

Two years of lawsuits and court dates followed, during which both remaining members of the band (with new lead singer Todd La Torre) and Tate recorded albums under the Queensrÿche name before a judge ruled in 2014 that Tate could no longer use the name. With that messiness behind them, Queensrÿche released Condition Human last year. The album, filled with complex time signatures and La Torre’s Bruce Dickinson-style wailing, doesn’t sound like the work of a group that’s been wounded by their old singer leaving.

“It’s 100 percent totally and completely a rebirth of Queensrÿche,” guitarist Michael Wilton says. “And Scott’s energy and his songwriting ability are a shot in the arm. He’s a shot of adrenaline for the band; it’s something that was needed in a stale situation.”

Wilton says that being a good musician isn’t enough for a band that relies on heavy touring: You have to be able to get along offstage as well. “That’s the other 50 percent of the game,” he says. “People see you onstage having a fun time, but behind the scenes, everything has to be cohesive, the chemistry’s got to be right. The bonding’s got to be right, you have to be a brotherhood as well as shrewd businessmen and entertainers.”

Condition Human has been something of a surprise hit for the band after more than a decade of generally being out of the public eye. It debuted at No. 27 on the Billboard charts and has sold well abroad. “You have the Queensrÿche fans that left the band in ’95 or ’97 and out of curiosity come to see us live,” Wilton says. “So what happens is we get responses like, ‘Wow you guys are as good now as you were back then! Glad you’re making albums again!’ They were completely out of the loop because there’s a decade where there were releases, but they’d stopped following the band. So you have a very interesting scenario where the release of Condition Human, we’ve charted in countries that we haven’t charted in since the ’90s. It’s great to have the attention of the world again wanting us to tour and play Queensrÿche music.”

Part of that new wave of acceptance for Queensrÿche might be that the band’s live show is a mix of newer cuts and older hits, allowing the band’s longtime fans to get comfortable with the more recent songs and satisfying their new fans at the same time. “The fans love the old music as well as the new,” Wilton says, “and for people that haven’t heard the album, it’s great for marketing and promotion. People can get some ear candy and get to hear the Condition Human album.”

Regardless of the Queensrÿche fanbase demographic, Wilton says that the band has put the past permanently behind them and forged forward with a new game plan. “The fans have graciously accepted Todd, and things have settled down,” he says. “It’s been four years since the change, and everything we wanted to do, all the goals that we set, we’ve completed them and we’re moving straight ahead. It’s a cornucopia of different types of people at our shows these days, because we have new fans that like the band but only know us from the last two albums.”