Recorded by the band in April 2011, the song was released as the lead single from the album on 2 May 2011. The song is available to purchase as a digital download from iTunes. "Not Ready to Die" marks the first release recorded with drummer Arin Ilejay. In an interview with Revolver, M. Shadows says the song was completely inspired by the game, which he is a big fan of.
In the song, which is also featured on the game's Zombies expansion map "Call of the Dead", the band's lyrics are of defiance, power and survival, themes that run throughout the widely popular first-person shooter game. In fact, one of the lines in the song is specifically referencing the game. The song "Damned" ("Zombies" mode theme music in Call of Duty Black Ops, composed by Kevin Sherwood) is also sampled in the song.